Lowering treatment costs: 7 questions for your doctor
The last thing you want to think about during cancer treatment is how much it costs. One good place to start when lowering costs is your doctor's office.
1. Ask if you can set up a payment plan. You may be able to pay a smaller amount each month, rather than paying the full amount due at the end of each visit.
2. Ask if your hospital or treatment center has funding to offset costs that aren't covered by insurance or funding for uninsured people.
3. Ask for referrals to local government agencies, social workers, and nonprofit organizations that offer financial assistance for medical care.
4. Ask your doctor if you're eligible for any clinical trials. In some cases, you don't have to pay for the medicine and care you receive as part of a clinical trial.
5. Ask your doctor about generic medicines. Generic medicines are usually less expensive than brand name medications. While there may not be generic options for some chemotherapy, hormonal, or targeted therapy medicines used to treat breast cancer, there are a number of generic choices available for pain medicines. For example, naproxen is the generic version of brand-name pain relievers Naprosyn and Anaprox. Depending on your situation, you may be able to take the generic rather than the brand-name medicines.
6. Ask your doctor for samples of any medicines you're prescribed. Keep in mind that samples might not be available for all medicines. But if you try the sample and have side effects that are difficult to manage, you won't have to pay the cost of a full prescription if you switch.