Q. What resources are available for women with cervical cancer who have no medical insurance? I was going to a specialist and my cancer was advancing. I have had no treatment since due to lack of insurance.

A.

The many challenges of being diagnosed and not having insurance are stressful and emotionally difficult. Feelings such as anger and anxiety are very common, but these should not keep you from getting treatment. Give yourself credit for seeking help, and for learning about and using available resources.

Being organized can help ease some of your anxiety. Keep a notebook with a list of organizations you contact and write down the name of the person with whom you speak, and what information they provide to you.

  • Medicaid is a jointly funded, federal-state health insurance program for people who need financial assistance for medical expenses. A current law exists that allows state Medicaid programs to provide treatment to women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
  • Contact local hospitals to see what types of free care or charity care programs they offer. Speak with a financial counselor or social worker to explain your situation. Federal law requires that non-profit hospitals provide some amount of charity care in exchange for tax-exempt status.
  • The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt management.
  • Contact local community or religious organizations that may be able to provide guidance and resources.