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Patient/Financial Assistance Programs for Chemo/Radiation

DoingItForMom
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2018

Hello all. I am new here.  My mother was diagnosed with Uterine cancer, specifically Serous Carcinoma. I will be my mom’s main/only caregiver/support throughout this process. In addition to the feelings of fear, sadness, etc. associated with the disease and the treatments. I am also worried about the ability to pay for and receive treatment. 

My mother is a Medicare patient without Medigap insurance. We’ve received an estimate for the surgery and should be OK. The potential chemo/radiation treatments could be a different story. 

Does anyone know of any patient assistance programs or other financial assistance programs that might help cover her Medicare copays?

linmk's picture
linmk
Posts: 58
Joined: Sep 2017

Hi DoingitForMom, I'm sorry that you and your mom are dealing with cancer.  This is what I suggest--On behalf of your mom, see if she meets the elegibility criteria for Medicaid and SSI.

https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/help-paying-costs/medicaid/medicaid.html

https://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/4412

Medicaid is the second co-payer for medical bills. Medicaid with SSI will pay for home care and medical transportation costs.

Look into and if elegible apply for Extra Help with Medicare for prescription drug coverage

https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/help-paying-costs/save-on-drug-costs/save-on-drug-costs.html

Is your mom in a Medicare Advantage program or is she covered by traditional Medicare? Traditional Medicare has a wider selection of doctors and medical facilities. A Medicare Advantate program generally has a limited number of doctors and hospitals one can go to. This could be important if you and mom decide to go to a specific cancer treatment center.

If you don't meet the income requirements for the above programs, find a good estate planner in your area who is familiar with Medicare and Medicaid. Your mother may still qualify for Medicaid and SSI

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/medicaid-planning-asset-transfers-incur-medicare-penalty.html

I am not suggesting anything illegal. I just want you and your mom to plan ahead. Good luck!

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

linmk, good to hear from you! How're you doing?

MoeKay
Posts: 350
Joined: Feb 2004

Here is a link to an article that provides information on some resources available for obtaining financial assistance to help pay for cancer treatment:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/takeonestep/cancer/resources-financial_assist.html

Hope this helps get you started.  Best of luck to you and your mother!

 

 

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I agree with linmk.  In my state (NY), you can sometimes get Medicaid even if you have a good income but if you have medical bills that exceed all or most of your income, creating an insurmountable hardship. Give Medicaid a call to find out.    

DoingItForMom
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2018

Thank you all for the advice.  I am still trying to sort through things with and for my mom.  We received the readout from the pathology and unfortunately she has Stage III.  Things are moving quickly so I am trying to slow down a little and ensure that when she starts treatment it is the right thing for her.  The financial side of this is a related but different question.  

MrsBerry
Posts: 102
Joined: Dec 2017

I am so very sorry for your mom’s diagnosis.  Her doctor’s office, or perhaps your local office on aging might point you toward financial resources, once you are ready, as well as the advice from the ladies here. Your mom is lucky to have you in her corner!

DoingItForMom
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2018

Thanks again all.  Just an update, got a second opinion at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and they concluded that the initial gynecological oncologist “misspoke” and she has Stage IVB (obviously very different).  I’m not happy with the previous doctor...at least he got the treatment right (Consistent with the 2nd opinion).

Still concerned about the financial side of things but I am hoping the Medicare pricing and the 20% my mom has to pay is doable.

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