1. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) maintains a searchable database that includes government agencies and national organizations that provide financial assistance to cancer patients and their families, or provide information about patient assistance programs. To search it, go to: https://cissecure.nci.nih.gov/factsheet/FactSheetSearch8_3.aspx
2. National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a network of accredited financial counseling agencies with over 800 community-based services: http://www.nfcc.org
3. Consumer Credit Counseling Service helps people learn to manage their resources, balance their budgets and get out of debt, but be aware that there may be a small fee for the service: www.cccservices.com or call 800-355-2227.
4. American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a non-governmental, nonprofit membership organization that offers information on health insurance options for women age 50 and over: http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance or 800-523-5800.
5. CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer and provides referrals to financial assistance programs. Go to the “CancerCare Services” and the “Helping Hand Guide” on their website: www.cancercare.org.
6. CancerFAC is a coalition of financial assistance organizations joining forces to help cancer patients experience better health and well-being by limiting financial challenges. The group educates patients and providers about available resources and advocates on behalf of patients. For more information, go to: www.cancerfac.org.
7. Medicare is a federal program funded through the Social Security system providing health insurance for mostly older U.S. citizens and other eligible people who meet certain criteria. You can get more information from the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov; 800-772-1213) or by talking with your hospital social worker.
8. Medicaid, another federal program, may also cover the cost of medical care. To get Medicaid, your income and assets must be below a certain level, and these levels vary from state to state. Your state social service or human service agency can give you the best answers to questions about your benefits and eligibility. To get contact information for your state, go to: www.cms.gov/apps/contacts
9. NeedyMeds offers information about programs that help patients who are financially unable to afford their medications: www.needymeds.org or call 978-865-4115.
10. Patient Advocate Foundation is a non-profit agency that acts as a link between patients and their insurers: www.patientadvocate.org or 800-532-5274.
11. The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) is a national, joint program of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The CLRC provides free information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to cancer survivors, caregivers, employers, health care professionals, and others coping with cancer. Call toll free at (866) 999-DRLC (3752), or go to: www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org
12. Cancer and Careers is dedicated to empowering and educating people with cancer to thrive in their workplace by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events. Through a comprehensive website, free publications, career coaching, and a series of support groups and educational seminars for employees with cancer and their healthcare providers and coworkers, Cancer and Careers strives to eliminate fear and uncertainty for working people with cancer. www.cancerandcareers.org.
1. Fight Your Health Insurer and Win, by Laurie Todd. Healthwise Publications, 2006 Be Prepared: The Complete Financial, Legal, and Practical Guide for Living with a Life- Challenging Condition, by David S. Landay. St. Martin’s Press, 2000
2. Making Them Pay: How to Get the Most from Health Insurance and Managed Care, by Rhonda Orin. St. Martin’s Press, 2001