Coping With CML Treatment Costs
Like all cancers, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a game changer. And among the things it can change are your personal finances. Finding out you have cancer is enough to deal with, let alone wrapping your mind around the details of your CML costs—deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays, and non-covered services you pay out of your own pocket. You'll want to work with your healthcare team to anticipate as many of your out-of-pocket expenses as possible and have a plan in place to take care of them.
As far as possible, try to get out in front and take control of your finances right now. It will help you lower your stress so you can concentrate on the really important issue—your treatment. Here are some general tips on how to manage your CML treatment costs and what to do if you need help.
Review your insurance policies—all your insurance policies
To better understand your coverage, take time to read your health insurance policy as well as any supplemental insurance you may have. You don't want to overlook any benefits. And remember, it pays to read the fine print. Ask your insurance company if they can assign you a case manager to help you and answer your questions.
Explore your options for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability
Depending on your age, income, the seriousness of your condition, and the state where you live, you may be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security assistance. All 3 have a variety of assistance programs with a wide range of eligibility requirements. So even if you think you won't qualify, you'll never know until you ask. To understand which entitlement programs you qualify for, ask a community social worker to direct you to the proper government agency.
Financial help is out there
You just have to know where to look. If you are having trouble affording the co-pays for your medications, check with the pharmaceutical companies that make them. Many have assistance programs that can reduce your co-pay or provide your medication for free if you qualify. If you don't have prescription coverage and can't afford your medicines, look up the Partnership for Prescription Assistance in our list of support groups. For more general expenses like food, rent, or hospital bills, the support groups listed in this section may be able to offer assistance or advice to help you make your payments.
Don't hold back—ask
You don't have to go it alone. If you need help with expenses, ask to speak to a financial counselor in the business office of the medical practice or facility you're dealing with. They can help explain your options or guide you to the people who can.
For more information about organizing your finances or applying for assistance, look into the advice provided by some of the CML Support Groups.