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Q. I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Even with insurance, I have many out-of-pocket expenses. What organizations can help me?


Even with insurance, most people are unprepared for the out-of-pocket expenses for medical care. These expenses can include co-payments and medications for side effects, as well as costs for transportation to and from treatment and childcare. Covering general daily living expenses can also be challenging, especially if there is a loss of income due to the diagnosis and treatment.

There are organizations that offer financial help to people with cancer to cover some of the costs related to their diagnosis. Several specifically assist breast cancer patients.

CancerCare, for example, offers limited assistance for transportation, homecare, and childcare for women who qualify. Limited funds are also available to assist with certain oral, pain, and anti-nausea medications, lymphedema supplies, and durable medical equipment.

Some local divisions of the American Cancer Society may also have volunteer programs to help with transportation to treatment, as well as assistance with wigs and prostheses.

Co-pay foundations are independent charities that assist insured patients who qualify with the co-pay costs of their pharmaceutical products. Clients may contact each foundation for information but can apply only to one foundation. Learn more about co-pay foundations.

Finding help with daily living expenses can be more of a challenge. Breast cancer organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure often fund Safety Net Programs. Call Komen’s helpline at 1-800-I’M AWARE for the number of your local affiliate to find out if there is a program near you.

Also try the 211 referral line of your local United Way for links to community programs that assist with daily living costs.

CancerCare offers helpful fact sheets on finding financial assistance in your community:

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