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Please use these resources to learn more about health insurance, disability, and financial concerns due to a MBC diagnosis.
Metastatic breast cancer care and treatment is expensive. It is important that you have health coverage and if possible, supplemental coverage. If you are disabled due to your diagnosis, you may qualify for Medicare benefits. These benefits can take a long time to secure so be sure you have thought out your plan for health coverage until you secure those benefits. You may want to consider a supplemental plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace in your state. It may help cover out-of-pocket costs.
If you are not disabled, explore the option of continuing your health coverage and not let it expire until you have another option in place.
You may be able to get some help for out-of-pocket costs through your treatment or drug manufacturer. It is best to review first through their website and then reach out with a phone call to the pharmaceutical patient advocate team.
If you are disabled, you may qualify for Medicare. You automatically get Part A and Part B Medicare after you get one of these:
You don’t need to sign up if you automatically get Part A and Part B. You'll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 25th month of disability. We are working to change this at a National Level to expedite Medicare benefits for disabled metastatic breast cancer patients.
Sometimes metastatic breast cancer can cause debilitating symptoms and sometimes treatments and therapies can also cause side effects that may be difficult to manage while you are working. If you find you become disabled after diagnosed and are forced to retire, you may want to consider Social Security Disability Income or SSDI
There is an application process involved in requesting SSDI benefits. It is important you first determine if you are eligible. The income if very low but it may help with expenses during the time you are unable to work.
You can also get started with a “kit”to help you collect the necessary information for the Social Security Administration to determine if you qualify for benefits, You will have to provide medical information among other things to them.
You may also qualify for expedited benefits.
You may have many financial concerns after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Some things to consider are your treatment out-of-pocket costs, prescription medication costs, alternative medicine to manage side effects such as acupuncture, over-the-counter medications and many other costs.
It is important to focus on your health first. There are many resources available nationally and you can find many resources through your cancer center and through local organizations.
Some patients even use fundraising for out-of-pocket medical costs. We have a few resources on our Financial Resources page.