While pancreatic cancer only accounts for about 3% of overall cancer diagnoses, it does carry the highest fatality rate of all major cancers.
For those without insurance, costs to treat pancreatic cancer can be as high as $200,000; and even for those with insurance, the out-of-pocket medical costs can still be enough to break the bank.
But don’t be discouraged—that’s why we’re here! Affording care for pancreatic cancer treatment doesn’t have to mean a bankruptcy sentence. We at American Life Fund regularly work with pancreatic cancer patients to help them get financial aid, which is why we put together this comprehensive list of financial assistance for pancreatic cancer patients.
Here are 6 of the best resources for pancreatic cancer patients to get free money and financial assistance.
Financial Assistance For Pancreatic Cancer Patients Type #1: Your Life Insurance Policy pays YOU (through a Viatical Settlement)
Anyone struggling with a severe medical condition knows that health insurance doesn’t cover all costs. In the United States, you may still face significant out-of-pocket expenses even with government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
However, most people don’t know that a life insurance policy is considered an asset that you own, meaning insurance policyholders can sell their life insurance for a lump-sum cash payment, also known as a viatical settlement.
With a viatical settlement, the funds are tax-free and non-regulated, meaning YOU decide how they are spent.
Not only can you use financial assistance for pancreatic cancer patients towards your medical expenses, but also towards the cost of living expenses or even a luxurious vacation with your loved ones. As the settlement holder, the freedom and the choice are uniquely yours!
In some cases, individuals can receive 70% of their life insurance policy in as little as two weeks with a viatical settlement!
How it works: Unlike life settlements, viatical settlements are designed for life insurance policyholders with life-threatening illnesses, reduced life expectancies, or chronic health issues.
Pancreatic cancer patients with life insurance policies can enter agreements with third-party buyers to sell their life insurance policy in return for a lump-sum payment (more than the cash value of the life insurance policy but less than the death benefit).
The life settlement company takes over by paying the monthly insurance policy premiums and receives the death benefit after the seller’s passing.
If you’re considering selling your life insurance policy, American Life Fund is here to help. For us, the most important thing is alleviating the financial burden associated with pancreatic cancer care, reducing stress, and enabling you to spend more time on the things that matter.
Through our hassle-free application process, American Life Fund will help you get an immediate cash offer for your insurance policy.
Financial Assistance For Pancreatic Cancer Patients Type #2: Pancreatic Cancer-Specific Financial Grants
There is a multitude of organizations that offer financial assistance for pancreatic cancer patients. This type of financial assistance is also known as a pancreatic cancer-specific financial grant.
While some grants are generalized and open to applicants with all cancer types, others are specific to pancreatic cancer. The best way to search for financial assistance for pancreatic cancer patients you may qualify for is through your local nonprofit organizations.
When looking online, try searching for “pancreatic cancer financial grants,” and the more general but still applicable “cancer financial grants.” The best part about cancer financial grants is that they are free money and don’t come with strings attached.
Although it can be time-consuming to locate grants, the time invested can pay for itself. Regarding financial grants, the most challenging part is locating an organization that still has funding available. Don’t be discouraged–persistence is key, and resources are out there.
The following organizational funds offer financial assistance in the form of grants to pancreatic cancer patients in need:
- Project Purple Pancreatic Cancer Patient Financial Aid
- National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Critical Assistance Fund
- Hirshberg Pancreatic Program Fund through CancerCare
- CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Fund for Pancreatic Cancer
- PAN Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Fund (available to Medicare patients only; this fund is currently not accepting applicants, but keep an eye out for re-opening dates)
- Healthwell Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Co-Pay Assistance Fund (available to Medicare patients only; this fund is currently not accepting applicants, but keep an eye out for re-opening dates)
- Cancer Lifeline Patient Financial Assistance Fund
- National Cancer Assistance Foundation Fund (patients in the following states are not eligible: AR, IA, MI, OR)
Also check out these great resources:
- Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (this is a tool that connects cancer patients with financial assistance resources, based on geographic location and diagnosis)
- Triage Cancer and Needymeds (these organizations maintain a long running list of financial assistance resources for cancer patients)
Financial Assistance For Pancreatic Cancer Patients Type #3: Utility Assistance
When juggling finances to pay for cancer care, every little bit helps.
Utility assistance is payment provided to help cover the cost of utilities within a home, including payment for home energy costs, bills, and any necessary energy repairs.
Utility assistance helps pancreatic cancer patients by taking some of the financial burden off of your shoulders, and allowing you the ability to focus more on investing in your treatment.
Programs such as the LIHEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) offer utility assistance to low-income households, as well as to those experiencing crises. The contact information for this resource differs from state to state, so be sure to check the website.
Additionally, the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and Family Reach both provide financial assistance for essential living expenses including rent, utilities, and home repairs, and Cleaning for a Reason offers 2 free home cleanings to pancreatic cancer patients.
You can also call “211” to locate additional local utility assistance programs for pancreatic cancer patients in need.
Financial Assistance For Pancreatic Cancer Patients Type #4: Prescription Assistance
With the cost of cancer medications rising, many patients feel concerned about how to afford treatment.
Thankfully, programs like PPA (Partnerships for Prescription Assistance) and Rx Outreach can help by providing free money to pancreatic cancer patients, in the form of free or reduced cost prescriptions.
Their easy to use online websites provide a list of multiple prescription assistance programs that you may qualify for as a pancreatic cancer patient.
Another resource offering financial assistance for pancreatic cancer patients is Needy Meds. Needy Meds offers a free Drug Discount Card, which provides savings of up to 80% on prescription medications.
If a medication is not covered by your insurance, or if your insurance has a high deductible, fear not–you can use your Drug Discount Card to help pay for prescriptions.
Also, the Medicine Assistance Tool can help pancreatic cancer patients to locate additional resources for prescription assistance.
Financial Assistance For Pancreatic Cancer Patients Type #5: Gift Certificates, Gas Cards, and More
When dealing with pancreatic cancer, the last thing you should have to worry about is the price of gas; however, as trips to treatment centers increase, so does the cost of transportation. Gas can be EXPENSIVE (especially if you live somewhere like California)– so why pay for it if you don’t have to?
If you’re in need of financial assistance for medical transportation and necessary travel expenses, NeedyMeds and Mercy Medical Angels can help. Simply visit their websites to see your options.
Additionally, Netwish is a nonprofit organization committed to helping those in need of extra financial assistance; they offer one-time gift cards of $200 that can be used however the patient sees fit. Tenaciously Teal also helps pancreatic cancer patients by providing gift cards for both gas and groceries. So what are you waiting for? Go snag yours today.
Oh, and if you like freebies (because who doesn’t?), Phil’s Friends and Radiant Hope are two organizations that offer financial assistance in the form of a care package, which contains self-care freebies for those battling pancreatic cancer.
Financial Assistance For Pancreatic Cancer Patients Type #6: Fundraising
One of the quickest, easiest ways to supplement financial assistance for pancreatic cancer patients is fundraising. With a little upfront investment of your time and a good social network, fundraising can be an effective tool for harnessing financial funds.
Online fundraising platforms such as GoFundMe, allow you to post your need/cause and share that need/cause with others. However, the downside is that you only receive a portion of the funds raised.
A second method of fundraising worth considering–and from which you’ll get to keep all profits– is known as a personal fundraiser. With this type– you, your friends, and your family raise funds by offering something to the community, such as a bake sale or car wash, for example. Feel free to check out MedGift Advocacy Services for a whole list of fundraising ideas.
Don’t be afraid to seek a higher quality of life. You deserve it, no matter what your financial situation is. To learn more about how we help pancreatic cancer patients financially, contact us at American Life Fund today!
What Pancreatic Cancer Patients Can Expect Financially
A pancreatic cancer diagnosis is never easy, especially when that diagnosis turns into a financial burden.
In order to try to avoid financial distress, it is important to understand the costs associated with treating pancreatic cancer.
When battling with pancreatic cancer, some of your largest expenses are likely to come from the following: doctor visits, treatment, medication, and transportation/travel.
Doctor Visit Costs: If you’re insured, you’ll likely only have to pay a copay per visit to your doctor; the copay is usually a small fraction of the total overall cost for the visit. If you’re uninsured, you’ll pay more.
Treatment Costs: Treatment approaches for pancreatic cancer vary depending on the stage and spread of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. When possible, surgery is common and can include either partial or full removal of the pancreas. Sometimes, other organs such as the spleen or parts of the stomach or colon may also need to be removed as part of the treatment plan. Radiation and chemotherapy are also commonly used in addition to surgery—or when surgery has been completely ruled out as an option. That said, the extent of your treatment will have a direct impact on the financial costs incurred—in other words, the more treatment needed, the more it is likely to cost you.
Medication Costs: While being treated for pancreatic cancer, there are certain medications you’ll need to take. Also, if you’re actively undergoing chemotherapy, that’s another crucial cost you’ll need to consider when opting for financial assistance for treatment.
Transportation/Travel Costs: If you’re being treated for pancreatic cancer at a facility that is not near your home, you’ll be met with the added financial stress of paying for gas and/or the costs of public transportation to get to and from your appointments.
Sound like a lot? The good news is, help is always available–and you deserve it, no matter what your financial situation is. To learn more about how we help pancreatic cancer patients financially, contact us at American Life Fund today!
Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Assistance for Pancreatic Cancer Patients
What benefits are pancreatic cancer patients entitled to?
If you are an American citizen struggling with pancreatic cancer, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits. The more aggressive the cancer, the more qualified you are likely to be.
Can you get financial help if you have pancreatic cancer?
Yes, you can get financial help if you have pancreatic cancer. You can get everything from help with prescriptions, lower utility bills, grants, viatical settlements and much, much more.
How can I get money for pancreatic cancer treatment?
Grants, crowdfunding, and disability benefits are some other ways you can get money for pancreatic 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 pancreatic cancer treatment.
Does stage 4 pancreatic cancer qualify for disability?
Stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients typically will be approved for Social Security Disability benefits. If you have stage 4 pancreatic cancer, there is also a good chance you will qualify for a viatical settlement.
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