Mesothelioma financial assistance
Many diagnosed with mesothelioma soon discover how expensive it can be to fight this cancer. For them, mesothelioma financial assistance becomes a pressing need.
The reason mesothelioma financial assistance may be necessary is that insurance does not pay all the costs of care.
While insurance typically reimburses for physician services, lab work, and hospitalizations, it may or may not fully cover medications (especially those deemed experimental).
Moreover, insurance rarely if ever pays for expenses that are not directly doctor- or hospital-related but which mesothelioma patients and their loved ones nonetheless may incur as they battle the disease. Such expenses can include travel to faraway specialized treatment centers and lodging while receiving care there.
Fortunately, mesothelioma financial assistance is available to many patients and their loved ones.
It is important to keep in mind, though, that financial assistance is not the same as mesothelioma compensation. Ideally, compensation covers all medical costs (including those for medications) plus the full spectrum of incidentals and is supplied by a mesothelioma lawsuit defendant pursuant to either a verdict or settlement.
Mesothelioma financial assistance, on the other hand, is intended only to lessen the personal or family money crunch that so often accompanies the disease. Also, the assistance usually comes as a gift from a nonprofit organization or as a benefit from a government program.
Mesothelioma financial assistance for medications
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) offers a search engine that allows mesothelioma patients to find financial assistance programs and services to help pay the costs of medications. The search engine is known as the Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT).
According to PhRMA, the tool “gives patients, loved ones and health care providers a single point of access to hundreds of public and private assistance programs, as well as connecting them with more transparent information about the cost of medicine.”
PhRMA says MAT “is the result of an ongoing effort between PhRMA, health care providers, pharmacists, patient advocacy organizations and community groups interested in helping patients access the information they need to be more empowered as they navigate a complex, and sometimes overwhelming, health care system.”
MAT is accessible here.
Needy Meds is another mesothelioma financial assistance resource focused on helping patients affordably obtain medications they need. This nonprofit organization neither provides the medications nor gives direct financial aid. Instead, it acts as a clearinghouse of information to enable patients and their loved ones to easily locate such entities. Needy Meds offers help completing the paperwork for enrollment in special programs offered by pharmaceutical companies to supply prescribed drugs at little or no cost. As well, Needy Meds offers access to discount coupons and rebates for the everyday products and services mesothelioma patients are likely to utilize.
Visit Needy Meds online here.
Mesothelioma financial assistance for care-related travel
Most U.S. hospitals and medical centers lack the level of mesothelioma expertise needed to help patients put up the best possible fight for long survival. Fortunately, there are facilities specializing in mesothelioma treatment, but they are by comparison few and far between.
That means many mesothelioma patients must travel long distances to obtain treatment. In some instances, those journeys can extend across hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles and be repeated multiple times per month.
Even one such trip by car will consume much gasoline, a cost that insurance rarely, if ever, covers. Nor can medical insurance be counted on to pay for replacement tires and mechanical repairs owing to accelerated wear-and-tear on the vehicle.
Air Charity Network is a nonprofit organization made up of thousands of private and commercial pilots ready, willing, and able to fly medical patients at no cost to healthcare destinations around the country. The pilots—volunteers based in every state—use their own planes to transport the patients. Air Charity Network coordinates flights on behalf of the patients.
Visit Air Charity Network online here.
Corporate Angel Network is similar to Air Charity Network, but with two key differences. First, Corporate Angel Network serves only cancer patients (that includes those with mesothelioma). Second, most of the planes are owned by large corporations—including many ranked in the top fifth of the Fortune 500. Corporate Angel Network started in 1981 and has since coordinated over 60,000 no-cost flights. Thanks to the organization’s corporate sponsors, cancer patients may use the service as often as necessary to get where they need to go for treatment. All cancer patients are welcome to use the service, regardless of their financial status, the network says.
Visit Corporate Angel Network here.
Mesothelioma financial assistance for care-related lodging
Relatively few mesothelioma patients who travel to distant treatment centers for outpatient care journey there in the morning, receive care in the afternoon, and trek home at dusk. Rather, they remain near the facility for however long is required—possibly a few days or perhaps a week.
The challenge these outpatients face is finding affordable lodging. Even budget-motel room rates can take a significant bite out of one’s wallet or purse after a short stay.
Accordingly, it is often suggested that mesothelioma outpatients consult with the medical center’s or care clinic’s social workers to explore potential solutions. The social workers may be able to offer referrals to charitable local organizations that provide low-cost or free accommodations. Alternatively, the social workers may be able to offer enrollment in hospital-run programs that provide a stipend toward discounted room rates at nearby inns with which the facility has a partnering relationship.
Talk to a mesothelioma lawyer about mesothelioma financial assistance
Such a lawyer will likely have—due to his or her potentially exhaustive experience handling mesothelioma cases—broad knowledge of and deep familiarity with public- and private-sector organizations offering mesothelioma financial assistance.
A mesothelioma lawyer also can help mesothelioma patients and their loved ones gain a clearer picture of the expenses they are likely to incur while battling the disease.
To talk to a mesothelioma lawyer about mesothelioma financial assistance, click here.
About the author…
Gregory Sandifer graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and received his law degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California.