Cancer is a debilitating disease that comes in many varieties, and due to its complexity, there are many costs associated with treating it. Understanding the costs involved with cancer treatment will help you make better decisions regarding the budget and assistance you’ll need. The personal costs you’ll incur are dependent on a number of variables, including the type of cancer, the length of treatment, your insurance coverage and whether your insurance is supplemental.
Treatment and Hidden Costs
Some fees will be obvious, while others will be less so. An example of an obvious fee is the cost of medication, which is easy to determine. A hidden cost, on the other hand, could be the amount of money you need to spend on gas to travel to a hospital for radiation treatment, or the time you’ll lose at work because of your cancer therapy. If cancer causes you to work less, you’ll earn less, and this is a hidden cost that must be taken into consideration.
Appointments with Doctors
You’ll need to pay for the treatments you receive each time you visit your doctor, and this could include examinations or therapies. Many insurance companies will expect you to pay co-payments, which mean you pay a portion of the medical costs while your insurance company will cover the rest. The co-pay will be determined by the insurance company as opposed to the doctor.
This involves payment for radiation treatment and other forms of care. You will be expected to pay for each session, and if you’re involved in clinical trials you may incur other costs. Depending on the type of cancer you have, it could take months or years for the treatment to be effective, and you will need to calculate the long term costs in relation to your finances. This can be complex, so it’s best to speak with your doctor.
Legal and Financial Costs
These are additional hidden fees that must be factored into cancer treatment. Those who are suffering from this disease will often need legal, financial or even employment guidance. They need to learn about their employment rights, the taxes related to medical expenses, and the drafting of a will. All these services will require the assistance of professionals who must be paid.
Depending on the type of cancer, a patient may need long term care. They will need someone to prepare meals, drive them to appointments and they may also need nurses or home health aides. These are additional expenses that may need to be considered. If cancer patients are living with family members, they must consider the costs of managing the household and caring for any children or elders that may be present.
Medication and Transportation
There are many medications which are needed for the treatment of cancer, and some can be quite expensive. Not only will you need medication for the cancer itself, but the inevitable side effects that you’ll experience. Depending on where you live, you will incur taxi, subway or bus fees to get to and from appointments.
All the costs above should be factored into the treatment of cancer. Because dealing with all these issues can be stressful and overwhelming, there are numerous organizations that can help. A social worker, family friend or your doctor can be a great source of assistance.
Mona has written this post based on her experience of supporting her grandmother who has been diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. Her grandmother’s lucky to be able to manage the healthcare costs because of her decision to sell life insurance policy in exchange for cash to continue the cancer treatment.