Financial and Travel Assistance
Anyone who has ever had to deal with cancer knows the staggering financial burdens the disease imposes on both patients and their families. In many cases, private or corporate health insurance plans cover at least a portion of the cost. But, for persons without health insurance, financial assistance from both government and private organizations is available.
These organizations can help patients deal with their insurer, employer and/or creditors. Travel aid is available for people in need. This list is meant to serve as a guide and is not all inclusive.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers programs that help cancer patients, family members, and friends cope with the treatment decisions and emotional challenges they face. To get information about these programs, call the national ACS office, or find a local ACS office by typing your location into the 'In Your Area' box on the ACS web site. Some materials are published in Spanish. Spanish-speaking staff are available.
American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a nonprofit organization that provides information, peer support, and advocacy through publications, an information clearinghouse, and a network of local support groups. CCCF maintains a list of organizations to which eligible families can apply for financial assistance.
CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer. CancerCare operates the AVONCares Program for Medically Underserved Women, in partnership with the Avon Foundation. This program provides financial assistance to low-income, under- and uninsured, underserved women throughout the country who need supportive services (transportation, child care, and home care) related to the treatment of breast and cervical cancers.
The Cancer Information Network provides education, legal counseling and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination and debt crisis matters.
The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care offers Health Centers that provide health care to low-income and other vulnerable populations. Health Centers care for people regardless of their ability to pay. They provide primary and preventive health care, as well as services such as transportation and translation.
The HealthWell Foundation® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to addressing the needs of individuals with insurance who cannot afford their copayments, coinsurance, and premiums for important medical treatments.
Medicare is a Federal health insurance program. Eligible individuals include those who are 65 or older, people of any age with permanent kidney failure, and disabled people under age 65. Medicare may offer reimbursement for some home care services. Cancer patients who qualify for Medicare may also be eligible for coverage of hospice services if they are accepted into a Medicare-certified hospice program.
The Chronic Disease Fund is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that helps underinsured patients with chronic disease, cancers, or life-altering conditions obtain the expensive medications they need.
NeedyMeds is a site to learn about patient assistance programs and other programs designed to help those who can't afford their medicines.
Patient Access Network offers co-pay financial assistance.
Some pharmaceutical manufacturers offer patient assistance programs to help pay for medications. To learn whether a specific drug might be available at reduced cost through such a program, talk with a physician or a medical social worker or visit the drug manufacturer’s Web site. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance has information about more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs. Patients can determine which programs they may be eligible for by answering questions and using the online application wizard.
The Patient Advocate Foundation provides education, legal counseling and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination and debt crisis matters.
The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a Federal-State partnership that offers low-cost or free health insurance coverage to uninsured children of low-wage, working parents. Callers will be referred to the SCHIP program in their state for further information about what the program covers, who is eligible, and the minimum qualifications.
Air Charity Network™ (ACN) provides access for people in need seeking free air transportation to specialized health care facilities or distant destinations due to family, community or national crisis.
Angel Flight is a name used by a number of groups around the country who arrange free flights, transporting patients and their families to specialized medical treatment facilities.
Angel Flight for Veterans provides no-cost or greatly reduced rate, long-distance charitable medical transportation/travel for patients who need to travel to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment. Angel Flight for Veterans serves veterans and active duty military personnel and their families.
Children's Angel Flight provides no-cost or reduced-rate patient travel services for needy child patients and their families. CAF cooperates with and utilizes the services administered through the National Patient Travel Center. C.A.F. is a member of:
- Independent Charities of America (ICA)
- Children's Charities of America
- Combined Federal Campaign #2711
Corporate Angel Network arranges free travel for cancer patients to treatment centers using the empty seats on corporate jets. Eligibility is open to all cancer patients, bone marrow donors, and bone marrow recipients who are ambulatory and not in need of medical support while traveling. Eligibility is not based on financial need, and patients may travel as often as necessary.
Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving people in situations of compelling human need through the provision of charitable air transportation. MMA is totally supported through charitable giving and the services of volunteer pilots and office assistants.
The National Patient Travel Helpline provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medical air transportation and provides referrals to all appropriate sources of help available in the national charitable medical air transportation network.
Patient AirLift Services arranges free air transportation in the Northeast based on need to individuals requiring medical care and for other humanitarian purposes. Our network of volunteer pilots provide this service without compensation using their own or rented aircraft.
The Volunteer Pilots Association is a charitable non-profit organization providing air transportation to needy people who must travel to obtain medical treatment. Member pilots, flying privately owned general aviation aircraft, donate their time and flight expenses.