Stress and worry created by a childhood cancer diagnosis can increase with financial concerns. The impact on a family can create a financial burden that cannot be anticipated. Parents of children with cancer might experience a sharp decrease or loss of income, an increase in medical and personal expenses such as food, travel and lodging away from home, and inadequate insurance coverage that can create a significant financial strain.
Studies show that even families with full health insurance will spend 25 percent or more of their income on co-payments. Severe difficulties face families with no or little insurance. However, local and national organizations are available to help with a variety of resources so that major hardships might be avoided
Financial difficulties associated with a childhood cancer diagnosis can be hard to accept. Some families may feel uncomfortable accepting assistance, but most families need extra support during this time of extreme crisis. Most people want to know what they can do to help, but need guidance on how to give support. Letting others know what is needed benefits everyone. Financial assistance for a kid with cancer can make a difference by taking care of gas, meals or a few nights’ lodging. Addressing the financial burden can reduce overall stress on the family, while providing opportunities for others to help in an otherwise helpless situation.
Cancer can cause heavy economic burdens on both patients and their families. Government-sponsored programs as well as services supported by nonprofit, national organizations are available for families who do not have health insurance and for those who have insurance but need more financial assistance to cover health care costs. Child cancer patients and their families should discuss any concerns about health care costs with their doctor, medical social worker, or the business office of their hospital or clinic.
Programs providing general assistance like food, housing, and other services may also be available from the county or city Department of Social Services