Managing Finances with Cancer

Cancer is expensive. Managing finances after a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, keeping track of expenses, bills, rent/mortgages, groceries, and related to your medical care is important and can save you money.

Get Organized

There are lots of tools available to keep track of your medical bills, EOBs, medical records, and other paperwork related to your medical care. The key is to use whichever tool is going to make it easier for you to stay organized, whether that is a box with file folders or a 3-ring binder. You should also keep track of any communications that you have with your provider and health insurance company.

Keeping track of your medical expenses and understanding your health insurance plan may save you money. Mistakes happen and you don’t want to pay more than you are required to under your plan. At some point during your cancer treatment, you may experience a denial of coverage from an insurer, whether for an imaging scan, prescription drug, treatment, procedure, or genetic test. Most people take “no” for an answer. But those who don’t accept the denial, and file an appeal, may actually win and get coverage for the care prescribed by their health care team!

If you are looking for more resources and information, check out this interactive Medical Bills Tracker, our Getting Organized checklist, and our quick guide on Managing Medical Bills.

Financial Assistance

Searching for financial assistance while dealing with cancer can be overwhelming. It can be helpful to keep an open mind when thinking about financial assistance. Although you may need one type of assistance, if you are able to get assistance in a different category, funds you have saved can be shifted. For example, if you have money for your gas bill, but not your rent, you may be able to get utility assistance and shift those funds to help you pay your rent.

For more information, visit our Checklist to Finding Financial Help and our Checklist to Avoiding Financial Toxicity.

Talk to your Healthcare Team

Talking about financial concerns with others can be challenging and uncomfortable, especially if you don’t know what questions to ask or what to say. One simple way to start the conversation is to say, “I am worried about costs associated with my cancer treatment. Can we please discuss my concerns?”

Don’t be afraid to talk to your health care team about your finances! Your healthcare team may be able to provide information about finances, emotional support, or provide practical help, such as sorting medical bills and filling out financial assistance applications. Additionally, members of your health care team can help you understand your insurance coverage, prepare for any unexpected expenses, identify possible ways to lower costs of care, and connect you to financial assistance options.

To start, visit our Cancer Finances module on Managing Finances to learn more.

Watch Our Webinar

If you would like more information, register for the free upcoming February 27th, 2024 webinar on Managing Medical Bills & Getting Financial Help. Are you reading this blog after the live webinar? You can find this webinar recorded and more on our Past Webinars Webpage.

Do you have other finances-related questions? Visit our Navigating Finances Resources to learn more.

CML Alliance
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