As cancer rates continuously increase each year, health insurance in the United States has started to become more and more a “privilege” that many citizens cannot afford.
Families around the country are facing financial turmoil. After cancer strikes, a lot of citizens face extravagant medical bills due to lack of coverage. Jean Sachs, CEO of the nonprofit Living Beyond Breast Cancer told the Associated Press in May 2018 that:
We know a lot of very solidly middle-class families, they were fine, and then… their financial lives changed. They’re not prepared for the cost of cancer, let alone the care.
Healthcare organizations and studies show the U.S. is seeing a trend where coverage available to citizens is severely decreasing per year, while the cost of conventional cancer treatment continues to skyrocket due to increased cancer rates. So as cancer runs rampant, treatment is essentially becoming harder to get.
New restrictions and policy updates regarding prescription drug coverage are also being set, which is causing patients not to be able to afford their medication. Cancer patients do not know what to do on their own. Many patients try to lower the frequency of taking their medication to make it last longer; this may mean skipping a treatment altogether.
News agencies are reporting on patients and their loved ones trying to keep up with the bill collectors, but in doing so are digging themselves into massive financial holes they may never climb out of. This includes opening up various credit cards to transfer debts and taking out mortgages on their homes.
Cancer centers and volunteers are doing their best to help families navigate through the confusing health insurance guidelines before and after cancer strikes. “A lot of times people don’t realize there are resources available until they’ve already gone broke,” states Dr. Veena Shankaran of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Financial stresses – especially bankruptcy – are not going to help when trying to heal from cancer. Many people live in fear of cancer for reasons not linked to health. If you are in that same boat, the best thing you can do is educate yourselves on cancer prevention, and know there are many inexpensive cancer treatment options available if cancer ever does happen to you or your family.
You may also be interested in this little-known way to finance your cancer treatment.