Cancer can have a negative impact on your health, your job, your family and, increasingly, your wallet.
There are currently an estimated 16.9 million people diagnosed with cancer in the United States. For them, illness accompanies many disproportionate, physical, emotional and financial difficulties.
Cancer is not only one of the most expensive medical conditions to treat, but even those who enjoy good health insurance have to deal with an additional burden due to other aspects of treatment, such as travel expenses and extended work stoppages.
In addition, many people benefit from high-deductible insurance plans, which means that these patients have to pay for themselves before their insurance is taken care of.
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a quarter of cancer survivors have struggled to pay their health care bills and about a third have worried about medical expenses.
In the long term, the CDC also found that cancer survivors had much higher expenses to pay than those who had not had cancer.
For cancer survivors, average personal expenses rose annually to about $ 1,000, compared to $ 622 for people without a history of cancer, the report says.
"The costs can be long once patients have completed short-term treatment," said Janet de Moor, program director at the National Cancer Institute and one of the authors of the CDC report. .
"Over time, your ability to absorb these expenses will decrease," she added.
As more and more people are diagnosed with cancer, the financial burden will only get worse. A report from the National Cancer Institute revealed that as the population ages, the number of people being treated for cancer will increase even though the rates of cancer occurrence remain the same.
Costs are likely to increase as more advanced and more expensive treatments are adopted. To manage the financial impact, it may be helpful to have earlier conversations about a prescribed treatment, said de Moor.
"This gives you the opportunity to plan proactively, that is, to identify pharmaceutical discounts or financial assistance," she added. "What's problematic is when the cost of care is a shock."
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Legislators have also introduced a bill to prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills, and the White House has promised to make this issue a priority for the future. who provide direct assistance to patients.
The American Cancer Society, for example, has tips for paying medical bills and moving into health insurance.
CancerCare provides on-site financial advice and assistance for cancer-related costs, such as transportation and child care, as well as co-insurance.