Insurance and FInancial Concerns
In a just world, women who are dealing with breast cancer would have no other problems. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. All too often, while coping with health worries and treatment, we need also to deal with medical insurance issues and financial worries. Having cancer is expensive. In addition the co-pays and medications and other uncovered medical bills, there are usually extra costs: more childcare, take-out meals, gas to travel to appointments, sometimes overnight stays for medical visits.
Medical insurance is a world unto itself. Wherever you live and whatever your politics, it is clear that this is a rapidly changing hot topic, and health care costs must be better managed and somehow reined in. In Massachusetts, we have universal health care, and I am very proud of my state--while aware that it is expensive and becoming more so.
Many hospitals and oncology practices have someone on staff who can help with financial and insurance questions. At BIDMC, we have an Oncology Community Resource Specialist who is skilled with these problems. There are also insurance authorization experts and people in the Billing Office who work hard to help patients navigate this maze. If you have questions, ask your nurse or doctor who might be able to help.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.lbbc.org) is offering lots of information and a way to ask an expert about medical insurance this month. Here it is:
Ask the Expert about Health Insurance Options
After a breast cancer diagnosis, getting a grasp on your insurance policy and benefits can help you get the most possible coverage from your policy. Because most of us aren't forced to navigate our insurance coverage until we face a serious illness, it is easy to get confused. If you don't have health insurance, you may be feeling scared and overwhelmed at the thought of paying for breast cancer care.
During the month of January, if you have questions about how to navigate your current insurance policy, or what to do if you are unable to work, leave your job or are uninsured, ask our expert&& Luanne Amato, MBA. Ms. Amato will respond to questions on an ongoing basis throughout January; check back for updates.
If you have an urgent question or would like to speak to someone in person, please call our Survivors' Helpline at (888) 753-LBBC (5222).
You may also be interested in our &&Guide to Understanding Financial Concerns.