The financial costs associated with cancer are often overwhelming. Even having health insurance doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to afford treatment. it’s best to start researching your options before a financial crisis develops. This fact sheet lists various sources of financial assistance available to people with cancer. Check with each agency or organization to see if you qualify for help.

Government Assistance

Continue Reading

There are a number of federal and state programs that provide financial benefits to individuals and families. These benefits, known as entitlements, are primarily set up forlow-income households, the elderly, and the disabled. Each entitlement has eligibility requirements. There are also programs administered through state governments thatcan help with health care related needs. Government assistance programs include:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Information on public assistance and food stamps
Check phonebook for your local office

U.S. Administration on Aging
Benefits for older adults
(Eldercare Locator finds resources in your community)

Social Security Administration

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs

Programs and services offered differ among drug manufacturers but may include:
• Help with insurance reimbursement
• Referrals to co-pay relief programs
• Help with the application process
• Discounted or free medications for patients who do not qualify for other assistance

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)
888-4-PPA-NOW (888-477-2669)

To see if the drug company that makes your medication has a patient assistance program, check its website. You can also ask your doctor or check with the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). PPA has a list of pharmaceutical programs and other resources for financial assistance.

In addition to needing help with managing the cost of medicines and treatment, people with cancer often need assistance with expenses like transportation, homecare and child care. A number of nonprofit organizations have useful programs or referralinformation to help with these and other practical needs.

Cancer Organizations


American Cancer Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Lymphoma Research Foundation

National Marrow Donor Program

Patient Advocate Foundation’s Colorectal Careline

Sarcoma Alliance

General Organizations

United Way

Community Organizations
Check phonebook under “social service agencies.”

Faith-based Organizations
These include Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, Jewish Family Services, and others. Check phonebook for listings.