The financial costs associated with cancer are often overwhelming. Even having health insurance doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to afford treatment. It’s best to start researching your options before a financial crisis develops. This fact sheet lists various sources of financial assistance available to people with cancer. Check with each agency or organization to see if you qualify for help.

Government Assistance

There are a number of federal and state programs that provide financial benefits to individuals and families. These benefits, known as entitlements, are primarily set up for low-income households, the elderly, and the disabled. Each entitlement has eligibility requirements. There are also programs administered through state governments that can help with health care related needs. Government assistance programs include:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Information on public assistance and food stamps
www.hhs.gov

U.S. Administration on Aging
Benefits for older adults
800-677-1116
www.eldercare.gov
(Eldercare Locator finds resources in your community)

Social Security Administration
800-772-1213
www.ssa.gov

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
800-633-4227
www.cms.gov

Pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs

Programs and services offered differ among drug manufacturers but may include:
• Help with insurance reimbursement
• Referrals to co-pay relief programs
• Help with the application process
• Discounted or free medications for patients who do not qualify for other assistance

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)
888-477-2669
www.pparx.org

To see if the drug company that makes your medication has a patient assistance program, check its website. You can also ask your doctor or check with the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). PPA has a list of pharmaceutical programs and other resources for financial assistance.

In addition to needing help with managing the cost of medicines and treatment, people with cancer often need assistance with expenses like transportation, homecare and child care. A number of nonprofit organizations have useful programs or referral information to help with these and other practical needs.

Cancer Organizations

CancerCare
800-813-HOPE(4673)
www.cancercare.org

American Cancer Society
800-227-2345
www.cancer.org

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
800-955-4572
www.lls.org

Lymphoma Research Foundation
800-500-9976
www.lymphoma.org

Be the Match (National Marrow Donor Program)
800-627-7692
www.bethematch.org

Patient Advocate Foundation’s Colorectal Careline
866-657-8634
www.colorectalcareline.org

Sarcoma Alliance
415-381-7236
www.sarcomaalliance.org

General Organizations

United Way
www.unitedway.org

Community Organizations
To find local resources, check to see if there is a 211 information and referral service (www.211.org) in your area.