Managing the Costs of Cancer Treatment: Tips for Getting the Funds You Need Without Going into Debt


a person holding a cash register

A cancer diagnosis can be incredibly frightening. Beyond concerns about your mortality and how your life will be transformed by a potentially-chronic illness, there are also financial issues to keep in mind when you get a cancer diagnosis.

Whether you’re being admitted to the hospital for breast cancer treatment or lung cancer treatment, the fact remains that managing the costs of cancer can be a challenge for many families. Here are some tips for getting the funds you need without going into debt.

Consider A Viatical Settlement

Many times, it’s important for you to be able to pay for portions of your cancer care currently, rather than going into medical debt and waiting on your life insurance policy to cover the costs. Offering a viatical settlement is one way that companies like American Life Fund are providing help for cancer patients to pay bills.

A viatical settlement is when a company pays you a portion of your life insurance policy’s value now, allowing you to access funds prior to death. In order to qualify for a viatical settlement, you need to be a certain age or diagnosed with a chronic illness. Beyond that, your policy needs to be valued at at least $100,000. Best of all, you likely will have no tax liability for taking a viatical settlement early, thanks to regulations passed to protect patients and their families.

Look Into Other Forms Of Health Insurance

Sometimes, you may be able to find better health insurance options on the open market if you have a little diligence. Finding a better policy can greatly reduce your costs for cancer treatment, which, in turn, can help make it easier to avoid debt in the process. With a little bit of research, and by comparing multiple policies with an emphasis on their cancer treatment costs, it may even be possible to find a health insurance provider with $0 copays for your cancer medications.

These sorts of savings can obviously go a long way in reducing how much you have to raise to pay for cancer treatment. Especially when combined with a viatical settlement, this sort of strategy can make it much easier to break even when fighting cancer.

Discuss Your Situation With Local Charities

There is a wide range of charities that also have an application process to help patients pay for cancer treatment. Just a few charities that aim to help people facing high cancer treatment costs include the American Cancer SocietyThe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Be the Match national bone marrow donation program. If you’re unable to cover the full cost of cancer treatment, it can be well worth your time and energy to look into how these sorts of charities offer financial assistance.

Remember to think local, as local applicants will have a higher chance of qualifying for help than someone from out-of-state. While it can be a tad cumbersome to read up on and apply to multiple charities at once, the payoff can definitely be worth it. Even if you’re able to cover a portion of your treatment costs, having the extra boost from one of these charities can make it possible to avoid taking on any medical debt.

Debt can really derail your plans for life, just like a cancer diagnosis can. As a result, it’s crucial that you avoid debt as you work to treat your cancer appropriately. While not everyone will qualify for some of the funding options listed above, even getting help from one area can make a big difference in how much debt you have to take on to pay for your treatment. Read up on the different options you have and make a plan so that you can tackle your cancer and debt at the same time.