Financial & Legal Assistance

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Financial & Legal Assistance

A cancer diagnosis can affect so many parts of our lives, including finances. We all know that even without cancer finances can cause stress in our lives. Many people have unplanned expenses related to their care.  Let us help you find ways to address these concerns.*

FOR MORE INFORMATION CHOOSE FROM  THE OPTIONS BELOW:



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Here at UNC
Health Insurance Housing Assistance
Legal Medication & Treatment Cost Assistance Organizations that can Help
Seniors & Caregivers Transportation/Travel Work
*This list is meant to be used as a guide and is not comprehensive.  The information provided was the most current information available at the time of the publication.  Some material may change or become dated. The sponsors and individuals listed assume no responsibility for time sensitive information.  It is the responsibility of the individual user to verify the accuracy of pertinent content.  Material provided does not constitute an endorsement or specific recommendation by UNC Cancer Care, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center or any of it’s affiliations.


Financial Assistance at N.C. Cancer Hospital/UNC Lineberger

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First let's start off with the resources right here at UNC Cancer Care and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Remember for other support-visit the rest of the services and support available to you right here at the hospital. Click here for more  information about financial assistance.

Cancer Patient Assistance: 

The CCSP Patient Assistance Coordinator and N.C. Cancer Hospital social workers can help you find resources that may help lessen the burden. Possible resources include federal, state, and local government benefits and services, and private foundation support.  Call the Patient Family Resource Center for more information: 984-974-8100

The UNC Cancer Pro Bono Legal Clinic
This is a free service by appointment that helps cancer patients and their caregivers to prepare legal documents that are important to future health care planning.  Specially trained law students and volunteer attorneys help patients with preparing Advanced Directives (Living Wills), Health Care Powers of Attorney and Durable Powers of Attorney.  Learn more by calling (984) 974-8100.

UNC Charity Care:

If you do not have insurance, or are concerned about paying for your medical bill, please call our Financial Assistance Unit Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 984-974-3425 or toll-free at 866-704-5286.

 

Questions about your bill? 

Customer Services Representatives are available to handle all of your questions Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm at 800-594-8624 (toll-free) or locally at 984-974-2222. Financial Counselors are available in the Cancer Hospital to help answer your questions and discuss payment options.

UNC Pharmacy Assistance Program:

Pharmacy financial assistance requires a separate application. See the pharmacy counselor at the main pharmacy, located on the ground floor of the NC Cancer Hospital.

To apply for Social Security Disability:

Call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 Or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.The website has detailed information about how to apply and the appeals process.

Resources, Information and Referrals:

Visit the Patient and Family Resource Center on the ground floor of the NC Cancer Hospital for more information on a variety of cancer-related topics. 984-974-8100

To apply for Medicaid:

Contact your county Dept. of Social Services. Or contact the Medicaid Counselors at UNC Hospitals: 984-974-0950

Counseling and Support:

The Comprehensive Cancer Support Program's group of psychiatrists, psychologists, advanced practice clinicians and counselors provide compassionate support and symptom management for the challenges that often come with a cancer diagnosis. If you or your loved one is interested in speaking with a member of our counseling team, call 919-966-3494 to make an appointment.

 

Health Insurance

 Insurance has gone through a number of changes over the past few years. Understanding these changes can be overwhelming. If you do not have insurance and are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, contact the NC Navigator Consortium at  855.733.7311 www.NCNavigator.netto get help enrolling in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace health insurance. Open enrollment times vary , but you may be eligible to enroll during other times of the year if you have experienced a “qualifying life event,” such as losing coverage, getting married, turning 26, or moving. You can also try healthcare.gov

 

MEDICARE is a health insurance program for:

• People 65 years old or older

• People under 65 years old with certain disabilities

• People on kidney dialysis, regardless of age 

There are several parts to Medicare. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov.forinformation and questions. 


The Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). If you’re a senior,The Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)counsels Medicare beneficiaries about Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and long-term care insurance. 855-408-1212 http://www.ncdoi.com/SHIIP/

 

MEDICAID is health insurance program for low-income people and their families. Each state has different rules about who is eligible for services and what services are covered. In general, you must:

• Be a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen in certain recognized categories

• Meet certain resource and income limits, which vary by eligibility group

To apply contact your county Dept. of Social Services. Or contact the Medicaid Counselors at UNC Hospitals: 984-974-0950
 

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
To apply for Call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 Or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.The website has detailed information about how to apply and the appeals process.

 Cancer Insurance Checklist
Cancer Support Community
Provides a worksheet for you to record and keep information on each health insurance plan you have or are considering regarding different plans, coverage, costs related to your cancer care.

 Making Sense of Insurance Matters
Patient Resource Publishing
Provides information on, coverage basics, out of pocket expenses, filing claims, and appealing denials.

 Understanding Health Insurance
American Cancer Society
Provides information and links regarding Health Insurance Options, Managing Your Health Insurance, and Health Insurance Laws. In addition, this site also links to health insurance websites like Healthcare.gov, the Foundation for Health Coverage Education, a Health Insurance Eligibility Quiz, and the Health Insurance Assistance Service.

Housing Assistance


Housing Assistance

Healthcare Hospitality Network (800-542-9730) is an association of more than 200 nonprofit organizations that provide lodging and support services to patients, families, and their loved ones who are receiving medical treatment away from home.

The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge (800-227-2345) gives people with cancer and their caregivers a free place to stay while receiving treatment in another city. Currently, there are 30 Hope Lodge locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Joe's House (877-563-7468) is a nonprofit organization providing a nation-wide online service that helps people with cancer and their families find a place to stay when traveling away from home for medical treatment.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (630-623-7048) offer free or reduced-cost lodging for families of seriously ill children who are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.

Cornucopia Cancer Support Center is a local non-profit for people with cancer. They collaborate with Meals on Wheels and Esai to provide Magnolia Meals at Home™,  a meal delivery program that provides a nutritious foundation for patients living with breast cancer, thyroid cancer, kidney cancer, and soft tissue sarcoma, and their families. Call 919-401-9333 for details for more information on eligibility.

Legal Concerns

Cancer brings up a number of legal issues for a caregiver and their loved one to consider. Below are different terms that you might hear about and what they mean:

  • An Advance Directive is a way for a patient to state their preferred course if they become incapacitated during their treatment. It allows the patient to choose a decision maker, usually their caregiver or close family member, in case they can no longer make their own decisions.
  • A Living Will is a specific type of Advance Directive where patients can list the types of treatment they want and those they do not want, in case their caregiver needs to make decisions.
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA) or Durable POA, is a type of Advance Directive where a patient chooses someone, usually their main caregiver, to make medical decisions on their behalf.

NC Cancer Hospital Legal Services
UNC Cancer Care patients and caregivers get free help with powers of attorney and living wills. The service is provided on a monthly basis at the Patient & Family Resource Center. Call (984) 974-8100 for dates and times.

UNC Medical Center Advance Care Planning
Combined Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney used by UNC Hospitals:
(PDF in English)
(PDF in Spanish)

Understanding Legal Matters
American Cancer Society
Contains information on legal rights that may come up during treatment including Advance Directives, Informed Consent, the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Family and Medical Leave Act, working during and after treatment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 Patient Legal Handbook
Cancer Legal Resources Center at the Disability Rights Legal Center
This handbook covers work, medical leave of absence, health insurance, appealing denials, paying bills, and end of life decision making.

 Cancer Legal Resource Center
866-843-2572/ 212-736-1455

www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org
Cancer Legal Resource Handbook English
Cancer Legal Resource Handbook Spanish

Advance Directives:
(Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Wills)
919-807-2167
www.secretary.state.nc.us/ahcdr/

Patient Advocate Foundation:
1-800-532-5274
http://www.patientadvocate.org/index.php

UNC Medical Center Advance Care Planning
Combined Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney used by UNC Hospitals:
(
PDF in English)
(PDF in Spanish)

Understanding Legal Matters
American Cancer Society
Contains information on legal rights that may come up during treatment including Advance Directives, Informed Consent, the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Family and Medical Leave Act, working during and after treatment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Patient Legal Handbook
Cancer Legal Resources Center at the Disability Rights Legal Center
This handbook covers work, medical leave of absence, health insurance, appealing denials, paying bills, and end of life decision making.

Cancer Legal Resource Center
866-843-2572  or 212-736-1455
www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org

Advance Directives:
(Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Wills)
919-807-2167
www.secretary.state.nc.us/ahcdr/

 Patient Advocate Foundation:
1-800-532-5274
http://www.patientadvocate.org/index.php


Medication & Treatment Cost Assistance

Make sure to visit the UNC Pharmacy Assistance Program:
Pharmacy financial assistance requires a separate application. See the pharmacy counselor at the main pharmacy, located on the ground floor of the NC Cancer Hospital. 

You can also look ask the financial assistance counselor, social worker, or look online for other resources that can help you such as: 

  • The Assist Fund (855-845-3663) provides financial support to chronically ill patients with high-cost medications.
     
  • Good Days (877-968-7233) provides financial support by covering co-pays for those with life-altering conditions.
     
  • Needy Meds (800-503-6897) is dedicated to helping people locate assistance programs to help them afford their medications and other healthcare costs.
     
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying patients who lack prescription drug coverage obtain the medications they need.
     
  • The Patient Access Network Foundation (866-316-7263) assists patients with out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment.
     
  • Patient Services, Inc.(800-366-7741) provides assistance with insurance premiums and co-payments for people with chronic diseases.
     
  • RxHope.com helps patients obtain free or low-cost prescription medications.
  • Medication assistance programs grid for patients (PDF), which is compiled, updated, and generously provided by Wendalyn Andrews, Practice Manager, Division of Hematology/Oncology, The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, Arizona. (Last updated: November 2016)

Organizations that can help

GOOD PLACES TO START

 One of the staff’s favorite resources to give patient is the booklet “Managing the Cost of Cancer” by the Cancer Support Community. There are chapters on insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, public benefits, disability, Family Medical Leave, and foundations. Click here and You can download the pdf.
Make sure to look at the back of the book where there is a graph listing national foundations, what they do, who they help, and their phone numbers and websites.

 The Patient Advocate Foundation (800-532-5274)  provides education, legal counseling, and referrals for people with cancer who need assistance managing insurance, financial, debt crisis, and job discrimination issues. It also provides co-pay assistance and financial aid for eligible patients. 800-532-5274

 National Financial Resource Directory
https://www.patientadvocate.org/explore-our-resources/national-financial-resource-directory/

 Cancer Financial Assistance Coliation
Patient Resource Publishing
Advocacy organization focused on helping cancer patients and their families with financial matters.

Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit organization that provides cancer survivorship materials and resources.

Cancer Finances offers an online-tool to help guide you through some key topics that may impact your financial situation. Whether you are newly diagnosed, or many years past active treatment, this site can help you navigate finances after cancer. 

 Triage Cancer and the Sam Fundr: have collaborated to created  A Toolkit for Navigating Finances After Cancer https://cancerfinances.org/

The Sam Fund
http://www.thesamfund.org/get-help/webinars/
The Sam Fund webinar series "Moving Forward With Your Financial Health" addresses some of the most common financial challenges faced by young adult cancer survivors after treatment.

Coping with the Cost of Cancer
A practical guide to navigating the complex challenges of managing the expenses associated with the cost of cancer care

American Cancer Society:  Health Insurance and Financial Assistance for the Cancer Patients Get information on issues surrounding private and government insurance plans, as well as other possible sources of financial help.

American Society of Clinical Oncology:  Financial Considerations
Education and resources related to understanding the cost of cancer care.

 Financial Considerations for Cancer Patients
Resources on managing the expenses associated with the cost of cancer care.

FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

Benefits Check Up
https://www.benefitscheckup.org/find-my-benefits/#/prescreen
National Council on Aging
BenefitsCheckUp® is a free service of the National Council on Aging
The BenefitsCheckUp® team monitors the benefits landscape for updates and changes to policies and programs. to match your unique needs to benefit programs and eligibility requirements using their comprehensive tool

 

OTHER SITES: THAT MAY BE ABLE TO OFFER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Ambry Genetics Financial Assistance Program
984-900-5794
Financial assistance program for the uninsured and under-insured, to promote equal access to genetic testing. Patients who participate in Medicare or Medicaid are excluded.

The American Childhood Cancer Organization maintains a list of organizations offering financial assistance.

Assurance Wireless Cell Phone Assistance Program
http://www.assurancewireless.com

Blue Note Fund for Colon Cancer 
877-422-2030. One time $300.00 grant for eligible patients.http://www.ccalliance.org/bluenotefund/index.html

 Call 211Many communities have a 211 information and referral service funded by the United Way.  Call 211 or go to www.211.org for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more.  Available in English and Spanish.

CancerCare provides limited financial assistance for co-pays, transportation, home care, and child care. It also provides a list of sources for financial assistance and a database of organizations providing financial or practical help. 800-813-4673 

Cancer Family Relief Fund is a charitable organization that encourages and facilitates grants to children whose parent or guardian is struggling with a diagnosis of cancer. These grants support the children's extracurricular activities so that they may feel some sense of normalcy as their parent focuses on treatment and recovery.

The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC) is a group of national organizations that provide financial help to patients. CFAC provides a searchable database of financial resources.

The HealthWellFoundation (800-675-8416) is an independent, non-profit organization that helps patients with a chronic, life-altering disease afford their medications when health insurance is not enough.

Help Now Fund Provides emergency financial assistance including rent and utilities, for patients in active treatment. www.thebreastcancercharities.org/help-now-fun/

 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's patient financial aid program (800-955-4572) provides limited financial assistance to help defray treatment-related expenses for patients diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma, who have a significant financial need.

 The National Foundation for Transplants (800-489-3863) provides fundraising assistance for patients needing transplants, including bone marrow and stem cell transplants.

Patient Access Network Foundation Provides co-pay, deductible and medication financial assistance.

 Patient Services, Inc. 800-366-7741www.patientservicesinc.org

Salvation Army May provide assistance with utility bills.http://www.salvationarmylacrosse.org/la_crosse/financial_assistance 

Stomp the Monster
One time financial assistance for financially eligible patients in active treatment.  Transportation, lodging, utilities and food.http://stompthemonster.org/