- ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
- Federal and State Benefit Programs
Cancer and its treatment may temporarily or permanently affect a survivor's ability to work at the same job or for as many hours as before their diagnosis. During such a time, some survivors may be eligible for medical and/or financial benefits through Federal or State benefit programs. Look into these benefit programs if you have concerns about how you can continue to support yourself because of cancer, its treatment or certain physical or emotional aftereffects.
- Finding and Evaluating Resources
There is a lot to learn about cancer and cancer survivorship. Some survivors don't know where to look for cancer resources, while others may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information and advice they find. Knowing how to find reliable cancer resources can help you feel more confident and informed about survivorship.
- Health Care Assistance Programs
Health care access is very important for cancer survivors. Yet, many people cannot afford to pay for important health care services that are needed for health and recovery, such as visits with their health care team and certain medical procedures. Fortunately, a variety of health care assistance programs are available to help those who have a financial need. Knowing about the most common types of health care assistance programs can help you get the best and most affordable health care that is available for your situation.
- Prescription Assistance
Prescription coverage is very important for cancer survivors. Yet, many people cannot afford prescription coverage and some go without prescribed medications and medical equipment. Fortunately, a variety of assistance programs are available to help people obtain free or reduced price prescriptions if they are not insured, or are underinsured, and cannot afford to pay.
- Transportation and Other Support Services
A wide range of support services are available to help survivors who have specific needs, both during and after cancer fighting treatment. Support services may include help with air and ground transportation for medical care, emotional support, help with the process of returning to work or financial assistance for child care and other needs. Knowing about the types of support services that are available and where to find them may help you during your cancer experience.
- Assessing and Managing Your Financial Situation
Cancer and its treatment can leave a survivor with a need to review current and future financial goals. Events such as illness, disability, employment changes and investment disappointments can affect your personal and financial well-being. Preparation for changes and challenges to finances can contribute to increased financial security.
- Converting Life Insurance into Income
During a time of financial need, survivors might consider using their life insurance policy as a source of income. However, converting life insurance into income is a complex matter. Understanding the specific rules and regulations that apply is very important to help make this decision.
- Converting Personal Assets into Income
During a time of financial need, survivors might consider selling some of their personal assets, such as furniture, vehicles and jewelry to increase their income. However, the process of converting personal assets into income can be a complex matter. Understanding the options and how each may affect a survivor's financial situation is very important.
- Converting Real Property into Income
During a time of financial need, survivors might consider borrowing against or selling real property as a source of income. However, making decisions about converting real property into income is a complex matter. Understanding the methods and how they can affect a survivor's financial situation is very important.
- Converting Retirement Accounts into Income
During a time of financial need, survivors might consider borrowing or withdrawing money from a retirement account in order to obtain more income. However, converting retirement funds into income is a complex matter. Understanding the rules and guidelines that apply to the use of funds for each type of retirement account is very important.
- Credit for Survivors
Credit, the ability to pay over time for purchases or items needed immediately, is an important part of financial life. As a cancer survivor, your past experience and ways of managing credit may need to change. Credit is a tool to be handled very carefully, but when used responsibly, credit cards can be an extra financial source to help you get through a difficult time.
- Investment Planning
Some survivors want investing to be a part of planning for the future, but have concerns about how their health status affects their financial planning. It is particularly important for a survivor to balance financial goals with health care needs. Understanding general investment guidelines, and thinking about your specific health situation, can help you evaluate your financial goals.
- Planning Your Financial Future
Several types of legal documents are available to protect your financial resources and outline your wishes if you become unable to make decisions. Taking time now to plan your financial future will give you a greater sense of security and peace of mind throughout survivorship.
- Retirement Planning
Survivors may find that there are new and important ways of looking at retirement planning. For example, you may be able to use your retirement savings as financial back-up if income is ever needed due to a disability. A good retirement savings plan can ensure that you and your loved ones are financially prepared.
- Tax Planning
The amount of money a survivor has spent on medical expenses may have an impact on the amount of tax that has to be paid. Knowing about tax areas that can be affected by a cancer diagnosis and treatment may help you become aware of medical deductions and other factors that could reduce the amount of taxes you are required to pay.
- HEALTH CARE PLANNING
- Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facilities
A survivor may have concerns about being able to remain in his or her current home after cancer treatment. This could be due to a problem with temporary or permanent physical limitations or because of a broader need for assistance with health and personal care. If you have concerns about managing your needs at home when home health care is not an option, it might be time to consider assisted living or nursing home facilities that combine both care and a residential atmosphere.
- Cancer Survivorship After Treatment
Many survivors experience physical, emotional and day-to-day challenges after cancer treatment is done. Knowing how to plan for and get the best possible post-treatment follow-up care can greatly contribute to your quality of life.
- Communicate With Your Health Care Team
Understanding what your health care team is saying, and knowing what questions to ask them, is important to getting the best care. Some survivors feel uncomfortable or unsure about asking questions of medical professionals. A good relationship with your health care team depends on good communication.
- Home Health Care
Cancer survivors may face challenges during or after treatment that require ongoing assistance with health care. Medical advances are making it increasingly possible to safely provide health care at home instead of in a medical facility. If you or a loved one have concerns about these types of challenges during or after treatment, home health care may make it possible to continue to live at home without giving up the benefits of specialized health care.
- Life Expectancy
Some survivors worry about whether cancer has affected their life expectancy - how long they will live after cancer treatment. Talking with your health care team can help you understand how cancer can affect life expectancy.
- Appealing Health Insurance Claim Denials
Cancer can affect finances, employment, health care, insurance, legal and life planning. Learn about the financial assistance programs and other resources available to help those affected by cancer.
- Disability Income Insurance
Disability income insurance provides a monthly income if you become unable to work because of illness or injury. This insurance coverage ensures that you and your family will be taken care of if there is an interruption in your ability to work. Taking steps now to protect yourself with disability income insurance will help you face the future with greater financial confidence.
- Individual and Group Health Insurance
Survivors often have many concerns about finding and keeping health insurance coverage. Finding the right coverage can sometimes be difficult. Understanding the types of plans available and the laws that address health insurance can help you make health insurance decisions.
- Life Insurance
Life insurance provides a certain amount of money after a person's death to a beneficiary, a person chosen in advance by the policy holder. Not everyone needs life insurance, but understanding how cancer affects your ability to qualify for policies can help you make decisions about coverage.
- Property and Casualty Insurance
Property and casualty insurance includes coverage options such as auto insurance, renters or homeowners insurance. It also includes other types of coverage that can provide additional financial security. Understanding the protections and options that are available will help a survivor identify the best coverage for his or her specific situation.