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If you’re dealing with colon cancer, there’s financial help available. The American Cancer Society reports that the risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 26 for women. With over 106,970 new cases of colon cancer expected in the U.S. in 2023, it’s crucial to have financial support during this tough time.

This guide shows you where to find help with costs like medical bills, daily expenses, and travel for treatment. There are many programs and organizations dedicated to assisting colon cancer patients. By accessing these resources, you can concentrate on your recovery instead of worrying about money. Remember, you’re not alone—support is available to help you through your treatment.

How To Find Financial Assistance For Colon Cancer Patients

When managing the financial challenges of a colon cancer diagnosis, knowing where to turn for assistance is necessary. This section provides an overview of the key steps and resources you can use to help alleviate the financial burden associated with your colon cancer journey. We’ll cover a range of options and organizations that offer support, from government programs to nonprofit foundations, ensuring that you can access the assistance you need to focus on your health and well-being.

Colon Cancer-Specific Financial Grants From Organizations

The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA)

  • The CCA is a nonprofit organization supporting colon cancer patients and their families. They offer financial grants to help with treatment, transportation, and related expenses.
  • Visit their website at www.ccalliance.org or call their toll-free Helpline at 1-877-422-2030 for grant application information.

The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation

  • PAN provides financial assistance to underinsured individuals with colon cancer for out-of-pocket medical costs, such as co-pays, deductibles, and healthcare premiums.
  • Visit their website at www.panfoundation.org or call 1-866-316-PANF (7263) to check eligibility and apply for assistance.

CancerCare

  • CancerCare offers financial assistance to colon cancer patients for expenses like transportation, home care, childcare, and co-payment assistance for medications.
  • Visit www.cancercare.org or call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) for information on their financial assistance programs.

LIVESTRONG Foundation

  • LIVESTRONG offers financial assistance through the LIVESTRONG Fertility program for colon cancer patients concerned about fertility preservation before cancer treatment.
  • Learn more at www.livestrong.org or call 1-855-220-7777 for details on their fertility support.

The Financial Assistance Program for Cancer Patients (FAPCP)

  • FAPCP provides financial grants to colon cancer patients facing financial difficulties due to their medical condition. They cover a range of costs, from medical bills to daily living expenses.
  • Email them at info@fapcp.org or visit www.fapcp.org for application guidelines.

These organizations are committed to helping colon cancer patients access the financial support they need to manage the costs associated with their treatment and care. Each has specific criteria for assistance, so check their websites or contact them directly for detailed information on the application process.

Government Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid

  • Medicaid is a state and federally-funded program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible low-income individuals. It can cover medical expenses, including those related to colon cancer treatment.
  • Visit your state’s Medicaid website or HealthCare.gov for eligibility and application information.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • SSI is a federal program that provides financial assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources, including those with colon cancer.
  • Apply through the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

  • TANF is a federal assistance program that provides temporary financial help for low-income families, which may include assistance with medical expenses.
  • Apply through your state’s Department of Health and Human Services or Social Services agency.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, assists eligible individuals and families to purchase nutritious food, helping to free up finances for other needs.
  • Apply through your state’s SNAP office or online at www.fns.usda.gov/snap.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  • SSDI is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities who have paid into the Social Security system. It can help cover medical expenses.
  • Apply through the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

Housing Financial Assistance

Doctor examining cancer patient at home

Coping with colon cancer often involves medical expenses and housing-related financial burdens. Here are some options for assistance with housing expenses during your colon cancer journey:

Mortgage Payments

If you’re a homeowner and struggling to make mortgage payments due to your colon cancer diagnosis, consider the following resources:

  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD offers programs to assist homeowners facing financial hardship. Explore options like loan modifications or refinancing through www.hud.gov.

Rent Payments

Renters facing challenges with rent payments due to colon cancer can explore the following avenues for help:

  • Section 8 Housing Vouchers: Section 8 offers low-income individuals and families rental assistance. Contact your local public housing agency for information.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance Programs: Some states and local governments have emergency rental assistance programs. Search online for your state’s program or contact your local government offices.

Accommodation During Colon Cancer Treatment

  • If you’re seeking temporary accommodation during your treatment, consider the following options:
  • Hope Lodge: The American Cancer Society provides free lodging for cancer patients and caregivers at Hope Lodge locations across the U.S. Visit www.cancer.org/hopelodge for details.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities: They offer accommodation near hospitals for families with a child receiving treatment. Find more information at www.rmhc.org.

Utility Assistance

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

  • LIHEAP provides low-income individuals and families financial assistance for heating and cooling costs. It can help with utility bills, weatherization, and energy-related crises.
  • Apply through your state’s LIHEAP office or visit www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/programs/liheap for more information.

The Salvation Army

  • The Salvation Army offers emergency financial assistance to individuals struggling to pay their utility bills, particularly during times of crisis.
  • Locate your nearest Salvation Army office and inquire about utility assistance programs by visiting www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Modest Needs

  • Modest Needs provides grants to cover emergency expenses, including utility bills, for individuals and families at risk of falling into poverty.
  • Apply online at www.modestneeds.org and review their eligibility requirements.

Local Charities and Nonprofits

  • Many local charitable organizations and nonprofits offer utility assistance programs to residents facing financial hardship. Check with your local community services or outreach organizations for potential support.

Energy Assistance Programs

  • Some energy companies and local governments have their own energy assistance programs to help low-income individuals with utility bills.
  • Contact your energy provider or search for local energy assistance programs for specific details.

Transportation Assistance

Maintaining access to transportation is crucial during your colon cancer treatment. Here are options for obtaining transportation assistance, including free gas cards and air travel support:

Free Gas Cards

Gas cards can provide relief by covering the cost of fuel for your trips to medical appointments and treatments.

  • American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery: This program offers free transportation to and from cancer-related medical appointments and may include gas card assistance. Contact your local ACS office or visit www.cancer.org/roadtorecovery for details.

Air Travel For Cancer Treatment

When long-distance travel is necessary for cancer treatment, these organizations can provide support:

  • Corporate Angel Network: They arrange free flights on corporate aircraft for cancer patients traveling to treatment centers. Learn more at www.corpangelnetwork.org.
  • Angel Flight: This network of volunteer pilots offers free air travel to needy patients. Visit www.angelflight.com for more information.

Financial Assistance For Child And Elder Care

Child Care Assistance

Childcare support can provide peace of mind while you focus on your treatment and recovery.

  • Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG): CCDBG is a federal program that helps low-income families access quality childcare services. Contact your state’s CCDBG agency for eligibility and application information.
  • Local Daycare Assistance Programs: Many local communities offer daycare assistance programs. Contact your local Department of Social Services or Child Care Resource and Referral agencies for information.

Elder Care Assistance

If you’re caring for an elderly loved one, consider these options for financial support:

  • Area Agencies on Aging (AAA): AAAs provide information and assistance regarding elder care resources, including financial assistance programs. Find your local AAA through the Eldercare Locator at www.eldercare.acl.gov.
  • Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS): Medicaid may offer HCBS programs that assist with in-home care for eligible seniors. Contact your state’s Medicaid office for details.

Prescription & Treatment Assistance

Prescription Medication Assistance

Reducing the financial burden of prescription medications is crucial. Explore these resources for help:

  • Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs): Many pharmaceutical companies offer PAPs to provide free or reduced-cost medications to eligible individuals. Check with your specific medication manufacturer for details.
  • NeedyMeds: NeedyMeds is a nonprofit organization that offers information on various patient assistance programs. Visit their website at www.needymeds.org to search for medication assistance programs.

Treatment Cost Assistance

Coping with the costs of colon cancer treatment is a significant concern. Consider the following options:

  • Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC): CFAC provides a searchable database of organizations that offer financial assistance for cancer-related costs. Explore their resources at www.cancerfac.org.
  • Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF): PAF offers case management services and co-payment assistance for eligible patients undergoing treatment. Visit www.patientadvocate.org for more information.

Clinical Trials

What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments, therapies, or interventions for colon cancer. They help determine the safety and effectiveness of these advancements.

Finding Clinical Trials

To explore clinical trials for colon cancer, consider the following resources:

  • National Cancer Institute (NCI): NCI’s website, www.cancer.gov, provides an extensive database of clinical trials for various types of cancer, including colon cancer.
  • ClinicalTrials.gov: This is a comprehensive database of clinical trials sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Visit www.clinicaltrials.gov to search for trials by location, type, and more.

Eligibility and Participation

Clinical trials have specific eligibility criteria that participants must meet. Consult with your healthcare team to determine your eligibility for trials and discuss potential benefits and risks.

Patient Advocacy Groups

Many patient advocacy groups and cancer organizations provide information and support for those considering clinical trials. Connect with organizations like the American Cancer Society or the Colon Cancer Alliance for guidance and resources.

Benefits and Considerations

Clinical trials offer access to promising treatments, but carefully considering the potential risks and benefits is indispensable. Discuss your options with your healthcare provider and consider seeking a second opinion.

Health Insurance

Health insurance plays a pivotal role in covering the costs of colon cancer treatment. Consider the following options:

  • Health Insurance Marketplace: If you don’t have insurance, you can explore plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov. Open enrollment periods may apply, or you might qualify for special enrollment due to your cancer diagnosis.
  • Employer-Sponsored Insurance: If you have a job, your employer may offer health insurance benefits. Speak with your HR department to understand your coverage and options.
  • Medicaid and Medicare: These government programs provide health coverage for eligible individuals, including colon cancer patients. Contact your state’s Medicaid office or visit www.medicare.gov for details.

Health Care Assistance Programs

If you face financial challenges with healthcare expenses, explore these programs:

  • Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF): PAF offers case management services and co-payment assistance for eligible patients. Visit www.patientadvocate.org for more information.
  • Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC): CFAC provides a searchable database of organizations that offer financial assistance for cancer-related costs. Explore their resources at www.cancerfac.org.

Life Insurance

Life insurance policies can serve as valuable financial assets. In some situations, life and financial settlements can provide options for individuals with colon cancer. Here’s an overview of both:

Life Settlements

Life settlements involve selling your life insurance policy to a third party for a cash payment. This can provide financial support while you’re still alive.

  • Eligibility: Eligibility for life settlements typically depends on factors like age, health, and policy value.
  • Benefits: Life settlements can offer immediate financial relief and access to funds that would otherwise be available to your beneficiaries upon passing.

Viatical Settlements

Viatical settlements are similar to life settlements but are specifically designed for individuals with life-threatening illnesses, including colon cancer. You sell your life insurance policy to a viatical settlement company in exchange for a lump sum cash payment.

  • Eligibility: Viatical settlements are generally available to individuals with a life life-threatening illnesses.
  • Benefits: Viatical settlements can provide financial support for medical expenses, treatments, and any other needs during the advanced stages of illness.

Fundraising And Crowdsourcing

Online Fundraising Platforms

  • Numerous online platforms, such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo, allow you to create fundraising campaigns to gather financial support from friends, family, and even strangers.
  • Online fundraising is accessible, easy to manage, and has a broad reach.

Local Community Fundraisers

  • Organizing local events, like bake sales, charity runs, or benefit concerts, can engage your community and generate financial assistance.
  • Local fundraisers often bring together a supportive network of friends and neighbors.

Medical Bill Negotiation Services

  • Services like MedWise Insurance Advocacy specialize in negotiating medical bills and reducing healthcare costs.
  • Reducing medical bills through negotiation can alleviate financial stress.

Colon Cancer Support Organizations

  • Reach out to cancer support organizations, like the Colon Cancer Alliance that may have resources and guidance for fundraising efforts.
  • These organizations can offer advice, connections, and support for your fundraising initiatives.

Cancer-Specific Fundraising Programs

  • Some organizations, such as Stand Up To Cancer, offer targeted fundraising campaigns for cancer research and support.
  • Contributing to these programs can benefit your cause and broader cancer research efforts.

Financial Expectations For Colon Cancer Patients

Understanding the financial aspects of a colon cancer diagnosis is critical to effective treatment and long-term well-being. This section provides insights into what colon cancer patients can anticipate regarding the financial implications of their journey, helping them plan and seek appropriate assistance.

  • Medical Expenses: Colon cancer treatment typically involves surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and other medical procedures. Patients can expect significant medical bills, even with insurance. It’s impoorant to review your insurance coverage and understand your out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Lost Income: Many colon cancer patients may need to take time off or reduce their working hours due to treatment and recovery. This can lead to a reduction in income, affecting the household budget.
  • Prescription Medications: The cost of prescription medications, including those for managing side effects, can increase. Investigate prescription assistance programs and discuss cost-effective alternatives with your healthcare provider.
  • Transportation and Travel Costs: Frequent medical appointments, treatments, and consultations may require additional transportation and travel expenses. Explore assistance programs for travel and consider carpooling or public transportation to reduce costs.
  • Home Care and Support: Depending on your health status, you might require home care services, which can incur additional expenses. Look into community support services and government programs that offer assistance.
  • Legal and Financial Planning: It’s advisable to consult with an attorney or financial advisor to address estate planning, wills, and powers of attorney to secure your financial future.
  • Insurance and Coverage: Review your health insurance policy, including coverage for colon cancer treatments and related services. Be aware of deductibles, co-pays, and any coverage limits.
  • Employment and Disability Benefits: Familiarize yourself with workplace benefits, such as short-term and long-term disability insurance. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for these benefits.

FAQs For Colon Cancer Financial Assistance

What Benefits Are Colon Cancer Patients Entitled To?

Colon cancer patients are often entitled to a range of benefits and support programs aimed at helping them cope with the financial burden of their diagnosis and treatment.

Medicaid and Medicare:

  • Medicaid: This state and federally-funded program offers health coverage to low-income individuals, including many colon cancer patients. Eligibility and coverage may vary by state.
  • Medicare: Medicare provides health insurance for individuals aged 65 and older and certain younger people with disabilities. It can assist with colon cancer treatment costs.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):

  • SSDI provides financial support to individuals unable to work due to a disability, including advanced stages of colon cancer. To qualify, you must have paid into the Social Security system.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

  • SSI is a federal program that offers financial assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. Some colon cancer patients may qualify for SSI benefits.

Health Insurance Marketplace:

  • The Health Insurance Marketplace offers a platform to find and purchase health insurance plans, often with subsidies for those with low to moderate incomes.

Employee Benefits:

  • If you are employed, check with your employer’s HR department for information on health insurance, disability insurance, and other workplace benefits that can provide financial support.

Prescription Assistance Programs:

  • Many pharmaceutical companies offer Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) to provide free or discounted prescription medications to those who qualify.

Patient Advocacy and Support Groups:

  • Organizations like CancerCare, LIVESTRONG Foundation, and the Patient Access Network Foundation offer various types of support, including financial assistance for colon cancer patients.

Legal and Financial Planning Assistance:

  • Seek legal and financial guidance to navigate estate planning, wills, powers of attorney, and other aspects of securing your financial future.

Community Resources:

  • Explore local and community-based programs, including cancer support groups, charities, and foundations, that may offer financial assistance and support services.

Are There Any Free Items Or Gift Boxes For Colon Cancer Patients?

During the challenging journey of coping with colon cancer, some organizations offer free items or gift boxes to provide comfort, support, and assistance.

American Cancer Society (ACS):

  • The ACS may provide colon cancer patients with free wigs, hats, and informational materials. Contact your local ACS office to inquire about available resources.

Local Cancer Support Organizations:

  • Many local cancer support groups and organizations offer free items like comfort care packages, scarves, and other supportive items to patients in the community. Research and connect with local organizations for details.

Patient Support Programs:

  • Certain pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations offer patient support programs that may provide free items like blankets, tote bags, or nutritional supplements. Check with the manufacturer of your cancer treatment drugs for such programs.

Online Cancer Communities and Forums:

  • Explore online cancer forums and communities, where patients often share information about free items and gift boxes they have received. These communities can be valuable sources of recommendations and support.

Cancer-specific Nonprofit Organizations:

  • Cancer-specific nonprofits, like Fight Colorectal Cancer and Colorectal Cancer Alliance, offer resources and gift boxes to colon cancer patients. Visit their websites for information on available support.

Local Cancer Care Centers:

  • Cancer treatment centers and hospitals sometimes partner with local charities or organizations to give patients gift boxes and free items. Inquire with your healthcare provider about any such offerings.

Local Businesses and Boutiques:

  • Local businesses, especially wig shops, boutiques, and wellness centers, may offer free items or services to colon cancer patients. Reach out to local establishments to explore their offerings.

How Can I Get Money For Colon Cancer Treatment?

Grants, crowdfunding, and disability benefits are some other ways you can get money for colorectal cancer treatment. Additionally, viatical or life settlements (where you sell your life insurance policy for a lump sum of cash), can be a great option to get money for colon cancer treatment.

Does Stage 4 Colon Cancer Qualify For Disability?

Stage 4, or metastatic colon cancer, is advanced and often terminal. Many individuals at this stage may experience significant physical limitations, medical treatments, and difficulty maintaining employment. Whether stage 4 colon cancer qualifies for disability benefits depends on several factors:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):

  • Stage 4 colon cancer patients may be eligible for SSDI if they meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for a medical disability.
  • The SSA evaluates your ability to work, your income, and the severity of your condition. Your cancer must meet specific medical criteria to qualify and prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

  • SSI is a need-based program, and stage 4 colon cancer patients may qualify based on financial need and their medical condition. Meeting the SSA’s medical criteria is crucial.

Medical Evidence and Documentation:

  • To support your disability claim, you’ll need comprehensive medical records, including pathology reports, treatment history, and physician assessments, to prove the severity of your condition.

Work Credits:

  • To be eligible for SSDI, you must have earned enough work credits through employment covered by Social Security. You may qualify for SSI based on financial need if you haven’t.

Compassionate Allowance (CAL):

  • CAL is a program that fast-tracks disability determinations for certain severe medical conditions, including some advanced cancers. Stage 4 colon cancer may fall under CAL, expediting the approval process.

Consult with a Disability Attorney:

  • Consulting with an experienced disability attorney can be valuable in navigating the application process and ensuring you provide the necessary documentation to support your claim.

It’s important to note that disability benefits can provide financial support and access to healthcare for individuals with stage 4 colon cancer. The eligibility process can be complex, so consulting with the Social Security Administration, a disability attorney, or a patient advocacy organization can help determine your eligibility and guide you through the application process.

More Resources for Colon Cancer Patients

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About the Author: Eugene Houchins

In 2005, Gene Houchins founded American Life Fund, addressing a significant gap in financial options for life insurance policyholders. As its leader, Gene specializes in providing swift financial support for those with severe illnesses. Through viatical settlements, his organization is able to assist patients with funding medical and living expenses through their existing life insurance policies.

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