Cancer is a very expensive illness. For people without insurance, the direct medical costs can be a serious obstacle to obtaining care. But even for those with insurance, most are unprepared for the out-of-pocket expense of their cancer treatment. Some of these costs can include:

Direct medical costs. Doctors’ fees, hospital charges and medication costs may or may not be covered, even if you have health insurance. For example, many people find that their insurance provides only limited coverage for prescription drugs.

Related non-medical costs. The cost of transportation to and from treatment, over-the-counter medications, home care and medical devices or supplies can add up. These costs are usually not covered by health insurance and must be paid out of pocket.

Daily living expenses. Costs for food, child care, housing, utilities and other daily living expenses may suddenly become difficult to pay if a person with cancer or a caregiver needs to stop working.

Getting organized can give you a greater sense of control over your life and priorities, including financial matters. This E-booklet will help you better understand health care insurance and provide you with the tools you need to cope with the cost of cancer.