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How To Find Financial Support for Leukemia Treatment

Posted on July 01, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Todd Gersten, M.D.
Article written by
Elizabeth Wartella, M.P.H.

Treatment for leukemia can be expensive. The cost of lab tests, doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and medications all add up. In addition to everyday expenses, the cost of treating leukemia could easily turn into a financial burden.

Whether or not you have health insurance, there are many financial resources to help with all aspects of treating leukemia, from medications to the costs of travel for treatment.

This article outlines many of the available resources that may be able to help reduce the financial burden of treating leukemia. Visit the links provided to learn more and check if you qualify for different resources. Reference the source websites for the most up-to-date information about eligibility and available funding.

Health Insurance

Leukemia treatment costs will be much more affordable if you have some form of health insurance. There are many private and public health insurance options in the United States, which help to cover the cost of medical services like hospital stays, doctor visits, procedures, and medications. If you do not have health insurance, review your eligibility for these programs:

  • Medicare (if you are 65+ or receive disability benefits)
  • Medicaid (if you are in the low-income category)
  • Individual health insurance through the marketplace
  • Job-based health insurance through your, your spouse’s, or parent’s employer (under age 26)
  • Veterans Health Administration insurance

Treating leukemia can become very expensive. Making sure you have an appropriate health insurance plan is the first step in helping to cover treatment costs. There are many other resources that aim to help with cancer and leukemia-related costs.

Financial Assistance for Leukemia Treatment

The resources discussed in this section aim to help with leukemia treatment-related costs. Financial support programs are available for costs directly related to treatment like copayments, deductibles, premiums, and transportation to and from treatment centers, and also costs indirectly related to treatment, such as child care and mortgage support.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society offers a variety of programs that help with leukemia treatment-related costs.

The Co-Pay Assistance Program helps pay for insurance premiums, treatment-related copays, deductibles, co-insurance, and medications. Check the copay assistance webpage to see if you qualify and register for the program.

The Susan Lang Pay-It-Forward Patient Travel Assistance program offers financial assistance for costs related to travel and lodging for blood cancer treatment. Similarly, the Susan Lang Pre CAR T-Cell Therapy Travel Assistance program offers assistance for travel and lodging for people with blood cancer who are receiving CAR T-cell therapy.

The Urgent Need program is another financial assistance program from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that helps eligible persons with nonmedical expenses such as utilities, child care, food, and other costs.

Finally, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has an extensive list of other financial resources for people with blood cancers on their website. These include resources for help paying for a wide variety of leukemia treatment-related expenses like lodging, mortgages, utilities, transportation, education, transplantation, and prescription drugs.

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society offers resources to help with cancer treatment costs. Their Hope Lodge program offers free places to stay when you need to travel out of town for cancer treatment. They also have a Road To Recovery program that provides rides to treatment or doctor visits to people with cancer. Both of these programs have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but may resume functioning soon.

Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition

The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition is a group of different organizations that aim to help people with cancer manage their finances and the expensive costs of treatment. It offers a search tool through which you may search by diagnosis, location, and type of assistance to find aid.

Family Reach

Family Reach is a nonprofit organization that helps people with cancer and their families. They provide comprehensive financial treatment programs, which include a variety of different services such as patient education, care navigation, financial planning, and emergency financial assistance to help people with cancer.

CancerCare

CancerCare is an organization that offers a variety of resources for people who have cancer and their loved ones, from case management and support groups to financial assistance.

CancerCare offers a copay assistance foundation, which helps cover the cost of copayments for cancer prescriptions. They also offer a financial assistance program that covers cancer treatment-related costs like transportation and child care.

Additionally, CancerCare has a search tool through which you can search for different types of assistance by type of cancer and your location.

HealthWell Foundation

The HealthWell Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps to fill the financial gap of cancer-related costs not covered by health insurance. They offer grants for a variety of diseases, including blood cancers, to help cover the costs of copays, deductibles, premiums, and out-of-pocket expenses. You can check if you are eligible and learn more about their grants on their patient webpage.

Patient Advocate Foundation

The Patient Advocate Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides different services like case management and financial support to people with chronic diseases like blood cancers. They have a Co-Pay Relief Program, through which they provide financial assistance for people to cover the out-of-pocket prescription drug costs that are not already covered by insurance. They also have a National Financial Resource Directory, which you could use to search for financial support options based on diagnosis, location, type of assistance needed, and insurance status.

Good Days

Good Days is a nonprofit advocacy organization that provides financial and advocacy support to people who need help accessing life-saving care. Good Days offers financial assistance to help cover the costs of copays, premiums, and travel for treatment. It also offers Care Navigators who advocate for you and your health care and help you navigate different treatment and insurance options.

Lazarex Cancer Foundation

The Lazarex Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve access to clinical trials for people with cancer. Lazarex offers a patient navigator to help you find a clinical trial and also offers financial assistance for expenses associated with participating in clinical trials.

Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation

The Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation offers a Lifeline Fund, which helps cover leukemia treatment-related costs like donor searches, compatibility testing, bone marrow harvesting, medications, and more. Review the guidelines and application process for this program on the Lifeline Fund webpage.

NeedyMeds

NeedyMeds is a nonprofit website resource that offers a search function to help you find patient assistance programs and other resources to help with the cost of prescription medications. The site offers drug discount cards, coupons, and rebates on prescriptions for a variety of conditions, including blood cancers. You may also find local and national resources by diagnosis from their site.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network offers an extensive list of financial resources on their website that can be searched by cancer type or drug name.

Clinical Trials

Participating in clinical trials for new cancer drugs and therapies is a way that you may gain access to free or reduced-cost treatments. For information about clinical trials, speak with your oncologist or other health care providers, or contact the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to refer yourself or a loved one.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyLeukemiaTeam is the social network for people with leukemia and their loved ones. On MyLeukemiaTeam, more than 8,600 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with leukemia.

Do you have leukemia and use financial resources to help afford your treatments? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

A MyLeukemiaTeam Member said:

Pleaselet ne know mire thank

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Todd Gersten, M.D. is a hematologist-oncologist at the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute in Wellington, Florida. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Elizabeth Wartella, M.P.H. holds a masters in public health from Columbia University and is passionate about spreading accurate, evidence-based health information. Learn more about her here.

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