Being diagnosed with a brain tumor takes a toll on a patient and the family physically, emotionally, and financially. Even with the best of health insurance plans, many are left with medical bills, related costs of travel, housing, utilities and others. Below you will find information about various sources of financial and medical assistance programs that may help alleviate some of the stress of this difficult time. In addition to this list, check with your hospital social worker to locate community-based resources and programs.
Please click on the appropriate link for more information:
- General Financial Assistance
- Programs for Children
- Food Programs
- Discounted Prescription Drugs Programs
- Prescription Assistance Programs
- Co-Pay Assistance
- Medical Supplies
1. General Financial Assistance
Association of Jewish Family and Children's Agencies
Agencies provide help for medical equipment, supplies, prescriptions and transportation to medical care.
Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund
The BMCF supports patients ages 18-40 currently undergoing cancer treatment with services to meet daily needs. It provides home health care services, co-payments required by many health plans for medical care, temporary housing, and other expenses for those temporarily unable to pay bills like rent, insurance, and food. ***Note: Currently closed. Will accept applications again Summer 2014***
Offer a variety of financial assistance programs, call for eligibility requirements.
Catholic Charities, USA
Some local offices have limited funding available to provide emergency financial assistance.
Friends of Man
Friends of Man is an all volunteer charity to help people with basic or special needs that cannot be provided elsewhere. They will assist with prostheses, wheelchairs, medical equipment, mobility equipment, hearing aids and orthopedic shoes. Application must be filled out by a healthcare professional.
Hardest Hit Fund, U.S. Department of Treasury
A foreclosure prevention program that is available for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage. It is available in 19 states and each state has varying qualifications to apply.
Lazarex Cancer Foundation
Offer financial assistance; transportation, lodging, relocation expenses, medical expenses not covered by insurance for patients participating in clinical trials.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Co-Pay Assistance Fund
Provides co-pay assistance funds for patients with CNS Lymphoma, up to $5,000 per calendar year. This program offers assistance towards the cost of private health insurance premiums and co-pays as well as Medicare co-pays and premiums. As well as costs related to prescription medications.
Macmillan Cancer Support
Provides financial help for those individuals in the UK only who are having financial difficulty as a result of their illness.
Mission4Maureen is dedicated to providing financial assistance to families who are burdened with the staggering cost of brain cancer treatment. Financial aid is available for medical bills as well as child care, housing payments, utility bills, transportation, medication and other areas of assistance. An application with supporting documentation is required.
Will provide assistance, up to $500.00 for those who are able to demonstrate a financial need.
No Wooden Nickels
Provides assistance to cancer patients in the following areas: medical expenses, transportation assistance, utilities, meals, home care, child care and special clothing needs. *please note, this organization is currently only providing assistance to Illinois residents.
Rise Above It
RAI is focused on providing financial assistance to young adult patients battling cancer. Patients need to have been diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 39 and must be undergoing or actively pursuing clinical trial treatment options. Requests may be made for medical expenses, housing costs, travel expenses as well as food, clothing and utility bills.
Local units can offer emergency financial assistance to families.
Surviving and Moving Forward: The Samfund for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer
Provide various grants and scholarships to young adult survivors, ages 18-35, to help supplement the money that they and their families have lost during treatment, and pay for specific transitional issues, such as education, fertility options, living, job search and lingering medical expenses.
Cleaning for a Reason
This non-profit offers free professional housecleaning services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for cancer. Provides once a month cleaning for four months. Currently available in approximately 40 states and Canada.
Dental Lifeline Network
This organization offers a Donated Dental Services (DDS) program. DDS tends to the dental needs of the disabled, elderly or medically compromised individuals who cannot afford the necessary dental treatment. Their website offers contact information for each state to help you locate a participating program in your area.
Patient Advocate Foundation
Website offers a state by state directory of information for patients seeking financial relief for a broad range of needs including housing, utilities, food, transportation to medical treatment, and children's resources. Click on Resources, then Publications and finally, The National Financial Resources Guidebook for Patients, to search this directory.
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2. Programs for Children
Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer
Provides gifts, last wishes and financial assistance to families which will facilitate quality of family life and create everlasting memories. Child must be considered terminal, under the age of 21 and be referred by a healthcare professional. Cap per family is usually $2,000.
First Hand Foundation
First Hand Foundation assists individual children who have health related needs and no financial resources to cover these expenses.
Foundation for Children with Cancer
Family must be referred by a healthcare professional and payments go directly to the vendor. There is currently a $500 limit per family.
Provides nonmedical financial assistance to children, up to the age of 18 at the time of diagnosis, afflicted with brain tumor and currently undergoing medical treatment. Requests must be submitted by a social worker.
Jake Owen Raborn Foundation
Provides financial assistance to children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.
Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund
Provides financial assistance to families of terminally, critically and chronically ill children. Referral must come from a healthcare worker. Child must reside in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware.
Supports the needs of children with cancer and their families who are seeking alternative methods of healing. The foundation also disperses funds to patients for treatment needs and to the families for their personal needs.
National Children's Cancer Society
Provides financial and in-kind assistance to children with cancer.
New England Serve
Offers a publication entitled, Paying the Bills, which offers tips for families on financing healthcare for their children with special needs. It is available by calling or is downloadable at their website.
Nicki Leach Foundation
Provides financial assistance to children and young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 diagnosed with a life threatening, malignant medical condition. Helps with the costs of items they normally would not ask for but would love to receive and provides a momentary diversion from the reality of living with cancer. Funding may help with car expenses, clothing, hair or makeup as well as for the purchase of a camera, computer or special trip.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Offers treatment protocols for pediatric brain tumors. All patients accepted are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay. Referral must be made through a physician.
United Healthcare Children's Foundation
Offers financial assistance to cover medical services beyond what insurance will cover or if service is not covered by the policy at all. Children are eligible up to the age of 16, who are US citizens and are currently covered under a commercial health insurance policy. Generally assistance must be requested before services are obtained and funds will generally be paid directly to the facility. Grants up to $5,000 per year.
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3. Food Programs
The Children’s Project provides gift bags, camp scholarships and limited emergency funding to pediatric oncology patients under the age of 18, in the United States.
Meals On Wheels
Coordinates thousands of programs throughout the United States dedicated to delivering meals to those who are homebound. Some programs require a small donation. Each program determines eligibility.
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Assistance programs are offered by many gas, electric, water, and phone companies. If you feel you may have difficulty paying your monthly bills, contact the company before your balance becomes too large. Companies are more amenable to working out a payment plan with those willing to work with them.
Many states have regulations that prohibit companies from turning off utilities; your doctor or social worker may need to write letters describing why the service(s) are medically necessary. The regulations do not diminish your responsibility for paying the bills, but may allow you more time or lower monthly payments.
In an emergency situation, check with local help lines and social service agencies as some provide one-time emergency help with utility bills.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Helps low-income households meet their home energy needs.
For state and local contact information, please access: http://liheap.ncat.org/profiles/energyhelp.htm
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5. Discounted Prescription Drugs Programs
Most major pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs offering free or low cost medication to those who cannot afford their prescriptions. Discounted prescription drugs are available at discount stores across the country. Check with the pharmacy currently filling your prescription(s) to see if they have discounted prescription drugs. If you are not using generic drugs, ask your doctor if any generic drugs are an appropriate choice for your prescription
This website allows patients to compare prescription costs among their local pharmacies. They also offer coupons on many prescriptions.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Offers a single point of access to more than 475 public, state and private patient assistance programs, including more than 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
Medicare Rights Center
Provides information on how to locate prescription assistance or discount programs.
Wal-Mart Pharmacy Site
Wal-Mart currently offers a 90 day prescription supply for just $10. $4 generics offered through the Wal-Mart program included multiple strengths of dexamethasone (a steroid), prednisone (a steroid), carbamazapine (an antiepileptic drug), and several antidepressants.
Wegman's Food Markets
Some of the programs offer 30-day supplies, some are 90-day supplies, but each is offered at discounted rates. Their program includes a 90-day supply for $11.99.
Target currently also offers a program with a 90 day prescription supply for just $10 and $4 generics. The generics offered in the included multiple strengths of dexamethasone (a steroid), prednisone (a steroid), carbamazapine (an antiepileptic drug), and several antidepressants.
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6. Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPS)
- PAP’s provide free or discounted medications to the uninsured, underinsured, or those with limited income.
- PAP’s are usually sponsored through the pharmaceutical’s manufacturer.
- Each program has specific eligibility criteria.
- Online not-for-profit organizations are available to help locate PAP’s.
Needy Meds is a non-profit organization with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs. The Needy Meds website provides a comprehensive database to search for available prescription assistance programs for both brand name and generic prescriptions. Application forms are also available for certain prescription assistance programs. Needy Meds also provides information about diseased-based assistance programs, discount drug cards and government programs.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)
PPA provides access to both public and private patient drug assistance programs by providing online links to programs in each state. This website also permits patients to search for prescription assistance programs by prescription name for which they may be eligible.
Patient Assistance Program Center
Rx Assist is a pharmaceutical access information center created by Volunteers in Health Care (VIH) a national resource center for safety net organizations. Rx Assist provides a comprehensive database of prescription assistance programs with application forms available at the website. Information is also available on low-cost prescriptions, co-pay assistance and Medicare Part D.
Together Rx Access Program
Offers savings on brand name and generic medications for children and adults, who are not covered through Medicare and who do not have public or private prescription drug coverage. To qualify applicants must be under age 65, be a legal resident of the United States or Puerto Rico and meet income guidelines.
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7. Co-Pay Assistance
Brain Tumor Drug Copayment Assistance Program
Provides financial assistance to help cover the costs of treatments for high grade gliomas.
The foundation helps to bridge the gap by providing financial assistance to eligible patients to cover certain out-of-pocket costs related to copayments, deductibles and insurance premiums.
Patient Advocate Foundation
Their Co-Pay Relief Program offers co-payment assistance to patients with brain cancer. Program accepts calls beginning the first of each month until funds are depleted. Providers can also apply on behalf of their patients online.
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8. Medical Supplies
The Cancer Fund of America
Provides for non-prescription medical needs such as nutritional supplements or incontinence supplies. Items available vary as the group receives donated products from companies. Patients or families members can call and be placed in their database for specific needs.
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