Paying for Cancer Treatment

Photo of a woman holding a bill and talking on the telephone.

Asking your health insurance company about your benefits and arranging for a payment plan can help you manage the costs of cancer treatment.

Cancer treatment can be very expensive, even if you have health insurance. We offer some helpful tips below, and links to resources that may be able to help you.

Tips for Managing the Costs of Cancer Treatment

  • Know what to expect. Learn as much as you can about the costs before you start treatment.
  • Understand your health insurance. If you have health insurance, call the company and ask about your benefits.
  • Ask about a payment plan. You may be able to arrange to make payments you can afford.
  • Ask about any charges you don’t understand. If you don’t recognize a charge on your bill, call the service provider and ask about it.
  • Save money on medicine. Ask your doctor if you can take a generic version of a name-brand medicine. Find out about discount drug programs, and talk to your health insurance company if you have one.

For more tips, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Managing Costs and Medical Information.

Federal Government Resources

  • Medicare: Government health insurance for people who are 65 years old or older.
  • Medicaid: Gives health benefits to people with a limited income.
  • Social Security: Pays disability benefits to people who can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death.
  • Provides information on health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Provides benefits to members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their dependents and survivors.

Resource Directories

These web sites can help you find programs based on the kind of cancer you have, where you live, and the type of help you need.