How Do You Finance Your Cancer Treatment?
You wouldn’t think of a calculator as a tool for fighting cancer. The fact is, however, the costs for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments continue to go up, leaving patients scrambling for ways to pay the astronomical bills that result from expensive medications and cutting-edge treatments. Some therapies can even cost $30,000 per treatment, but the financial stress can often offset chances of success. So how can you plan to pay for your own cancer treatment and keep your focus on healing? Facing Cancer with Grace shares the following suggestions.
Review Your Medicare Coverage
Medicare could be the first place you turn to for help with healthcare costs. It is ideal if you’re over 65 years old or have collected Social Security Disability Insurance for the past two years. Both Parts A and B cover cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, though there may be deductibles and copays to consider. Private Medicare Advantage Plans may offer further assistance, particularly when it comes to medication.
Use Your Life Insurance to Finance Your Cancer Treatment
Your health policy likely pays for a variety of treatment options. But life insurance can be used for expenses that are not covered. Some plans allow for accelerated death benefits if the holder has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness such as cancer. This allows them to withdraw sums of cash for treatment. You can also take out a loan against your policy or pursue a viatical, in which you sell your policy to a third party.
Tap into Your Retirement Savings to Finance Your Cancer Treatment
How you do this depends on what type of retirement account you have. For those with a 401(k), it’s the employer who decides whether or not to issue hardship distributions for unexpected costs, according to Forbes. Most plans do offer help for medical treatments though. IRAs can also be used for treatment for those under the age of 59 if they meet certain criteria. You must be suffering from a condition that will result in your death or have unreimbursed medical expenses that make up more than 10 percent of your gross income to qualify.
Take Out a Medical Loan to Finance Your Cancer Treatment
A personal loan might be an option to pay for medical expenses, but it’s important that you choose the best rate. Annual percentage rates can range between 6-30%, depending on your credit rating. Repayment can be completed over an extended period of time. The longer you take to repay, however, the more you will end up paying. So, consider other types of financing before you take out a medical expense loan.
Use Your Home’s Value to Finance Your Cancer Treatment
Selling your home, downsizing, and using the leftover profits to pay for medical care is the surest way to go, though you could also take out a reverse mortgage, in which case you’re basically drawing money against your house’s equity. Reverse mortgages are only possible if one of the co-signers keeps living there. This excludes widows, widowers, or couples who both require care at a nursing home or assisted-living facility during treatment.
Join a Health Share Network
This is not insurance but rather a group of people who come together and help each other pay medical expenses says personal finance expert Lauren Greutman. Members make a monthly contribution as well as an annual “personal responsibility” fee that’s similar to a deductible. These networks, also called ministries, are faith-based and may decline eligibility based on certain health conditions and lifestyle choices. So they may not be available to everyone.
Raise Money for Treatment Online
Also known as crowdfunding, this is gaining in popularity thanks to social media, which allows you to reach a large group of people who provide financial support through an online platform. GoFundMe is one of the better-known companies offering these services, partly because it’s so easy to use. Just create a campaign with the amount of money you need on their website. Then send the link to your friends and family, who then share it with their own network.
Using these strategies to tap into a network of financial support can help you start focusing on your treatment again. By reducing financial stress you can help yourself stay strong for the real fight you have ahead of you.
About Our Guest Blogger
Cheryl Conklin created Wellness Central from her desire to share various resources and her thoughts on wellness. Apart from blogging, she enjoys traveling and going on endless adventures, and writing about her experiences at the end of the day.