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Finance

It is important for the person with lung cancer to consider financial requirements and constraints. Caregivers are usually family members, and there are resources available to aid them in helping the patient navigate and plan for financial considerations. For example, the National Cancer Institute has a database of resources that provide financial assistance in various forms to patients and their families.

If the patient does not already have a financial planner or advisor, finding one during times of stress may not be at the top of the list, but it is still very important. The Financial Planner Association (FPA) offers resources to assist people in finding a financial planner by zip code and/or specialty, has an online Q&A to ask general financial planning questions and get responses from FPA-certified planners, and offers some Financial Planning 101 to help orient you to things to considered in regard to financial planning. Many banks offer financial planning assistance as well. Check with the patient's bank to see what services may be available to customers.

When preparing to speak with a financial planner/advisor, below are some thought starters of possibilities to consider when facing a possible financial hardship:

  • Explore social security benefits and eligibility requirements.
  • Student loan creditors may have alternate payment plans or deferrals for proven financial hardship.
  • Other creditors (credit card, mortgage, etc.) may have options to adjust monthly payments based on proven financial hardship.
  • There may be early withdrawal capabilities in a 401K plan due to proven financial hardship.

Every circumstance is unique, making it difficult to provide common recommendations. Patients should make sure to speak directly with a representative from their financial institution(s) to understand the options available to them and be sure to consider any subsequent consequences before making adjustments.

Pharmaceutical Assistance

The costs of medications can be overwhelming.  It is important to explore all avenues of opportunity for assistance, including what might be available to minimize the financial impact of medications such as trial medications that are not yet covered by insurance plans. Many of the main pharmaceutical manufacturers offer some type of assistance for a variety of their medications.

RxAssist can help you learn about ways to use pharmaceutical company programs and other resources to help reduce medication costs. Look at their database and frequently asked questions to get started.

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can also help you navigate prescription assistance programs.

In addition, many individual states offer prescription assistance programs. To find information on your state, use a search engine such as Google and enter “Prescription Assistance” followed by your state and scroll for search results. Review the details of each program carefully to understand eligibility requirements, what programs can be used together, etc.

Additional online resources are available on the LUNGevity LCSC discussion board. Scroll toward the bottom of the message to find links and helpful information regarding assistance programs.

Before applying for and receiving any financial assistance, check with any existing assistance programs you are a part of to understand any potential impacts to your existing benefits.