A significant part of cancer care is the financial burden that may fall upon survivors and their family. Treatment bills, drug prescriptions, and utilities are among many costs that can become too much; however, there is help. Professionals such as oncology social workers, case managers, and nurse navigators are available to assist with providing financial resources, aid, and referrals to support services. Don't let financial burdens drag you down - there are numerous ways to get help and remind you that you are not alone!
Below are some sample budget forms that you can use to organize your monthly income and expenses, and a partial list of other financial resources and articles that are prepared to help.
Financial Advisor and Liaison to Dana-Farber Pro Bono Financial Coaching, Rick Fingerman, CFP® has kindly provided documents that can be used to organize expenses. Both forms can be edited and filled out as you go through the months!
Monthly Expense Form Monthly Expense Data Gathering
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation is a cancer financial support organization that strives to alleviate the financial burden of cancer on patients and their families. They provide grants to assist with household expenses including rent, mortgage, and utilities. To find out more or to apply visit: https://joeandruzzifoundation.org/
The Financial Toxicity of Cancer Treatment:
A Pilot Study Assessing Out‐of‐Pocket Expenses and the Insured Cancer Patient's Experience
February, 26 2013
Implications for Practice
The number of insured patients is increasing, but insured patients are paying more out of pocket for cancer care due to increased cost sharing. As a result, the number of underinsured cancer patients is increasing. Patients are faced with greater out‐of‐pocket health care costs, but treatment decision making is often made without consideration of these expenses. In our study, insured patients undergoing cancer treatment and seeking copayment assistance experienced considerable subjective financial burden, and they altered care to defray out‐of‐pocket expenses. Health insurance does not eliminate financial distress or health disparities among cancer patients. Financial distress or “financial toxicity” as a result of disease or treatment decisions might be considered analogous to physical toxicity and might be considered a relevant variable in guiding cancer management. Understanding how and among whom to best measure financial distress is critical to the design of future interventional studies.
Cancer treatment has made remarkable strides, yielding improvements in patient outcomes, but those improvements have come at increasing costs . As health care costs increase, insurers have shifted some of the cost burden to patients through higher deductibles, rising copayments, and coinsurance, resulting in higher out‐of‐pocket expenses . These out‐of‐pocket–related expenses are higher among patients with cancer than among patients with other conditions [3, 4]. As a result of growing expenses, even patients with insurance may require financial assistance from government or nonprofit national copayment assistance organizations to guarantee access to therapy and to mitigate the financial burden of cancer care . Though the number of insured patients is estimated to increase in the era of the Affordable Care Act, rising out‐of‐pocket costs dispute the adequacy of insurance for providing affordable cancer care [6, 7]. Patients who carry insurance but still pay a significant portion of health care costs out of pocket are considered underinsured .