Good Morning America10 / 25 / 2021
Hidden costs of cancer treatment
Breast cancer is a devastating diagnosis that certainly takes an emotional toll on the patient and their families, but it can also take a financial toll as well. When Eudora Ward started treatment for breast cancer in 2020, she went on disability at her job at a mental health agency. "I needed time to get my life together for chemo. I needed time for me." Eudora said.
Patients are not prepared for a diagnosis, and they're not prepared for the financial implications of treatment." Said Molly MacDonald.
MacDonald knows this first hand. Her own breast cancer diagnosis led her to start The Pink Fund. A national nonprofit that provides a financial bridge to breast cancer patients by paying their living expenses for 90 days.
MacDonald says most patients have no idea about the hidden costs of breast cancer like losing income during treatment or transportation costs like parking fees and gas. "
Experts say another hidden cost, being underinsured. Many people choose insurance plans based on the lowest monthly premium, not on the deductible, copays, or what will be covered during a health crisis.
But there are some ways to get help. First, MacDonald says speak to a financial navigator at your hospital or treatment center.
Also you can negotiate a payment plan with your provider. As for Ward, she applied for financial assistance from The Pink Fund who paid two months of her rent and other living expenses.