Financial Help Available for Cancer Patients Unable to Cover Insurance Co-Payments for Treatment

New York, May 13, 2009—Cancer patients with health insurance coverage who are having trouble meeting their co-payments for treatment are now eligible for financial assistance through the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation.

The year-old Foundation, based in New York City, provides grants to people receiving chemotherapy and targeted treatments to help cover some or all of the cost of the insurance co-payments on their medications.

“For many individuals and families, insurance co-payments present a formidable obstacle to optimal care” and health insurance no longer guarantees a person will be able to afford his or her treatment, notes Diane Blum, executive director of the Foundation.

As the costs of many cancer therapies have spiraled upwards in recent years, so, too, have insurance co-payments – that is, the portion of the cost of treatment that an insurance policy does not cover. And, the percentage of the co-payment is also increasing, shifting even more of the cost to patients, who are now having to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month from their own pockets in order to get or continue their treatment-money they simply don’t have. These expenses can lead not only to serious financial problems but also, too often, to the patient abandoning treatment altogether.

The Foundation was created to help address this dilemma. Launched in April 2008 as a separate arm of the national non-profit CancerCare, the privately funded Foundation has already assisted thousands of individuals across the U.S. with co-payment relief.

Currently, the Foundation covers seven specific cancer diagnoses. In addition to lung cancer, other cancer diagnoses covered are breast, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, and head and neck cancers; and glioblastoma (also known as glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM). New diagnoses will be added as funding permits.

Patients must also meet certain financial and treatment criteria and only drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) qualify for coverage.

To learn more, visit www.cancercarecopay.org or call 1-866-55-COPAY.

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