Mesothelioma treatment is very expensive and it is prudent to consider different approaches to financial help if your medical insurance will not cover all your mesothelioma treatment costs. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can often convince providers to accept liens so you can pay bills directly via a trust account set up by the lawyer when settlements come in.
Here are some additional tips for you on financial help for mesothelioma treatment based on information from Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition:
Talk with your health care team about your financial situation as soon as possible.
Most providers of mesothelioma treatment understand that patients have concerns about costs. The hospital may have staff social workers or financial counselors to help you understand your insurance coverage and find further assistance, including financial aid if you are eligible. Many providers will work with patients to set up a monthly payment plan.
Let your creditors know about your financial situation.
If you’re having trouble paying your bills, it’s best to face up to the problem now rather than let the bills pile up. You can nearly always negotiate with creditors. A nonprofit credit counseling service may be able to help you. You have a right not to be harassed by creditors. It’s up to you to decide which bills to pay and in what order. You may also wish to talk to a financial advisor about the pros and cons of putting your assets into a trust to shield them from creditors.
Get a handle on your income and expenses.
Figure out how much money is coming into your household, how much you spend, and what you spend it on. Contact your mortgage company and ask about setting up a payment plan. You may be able to obtain a disability waiver for your mortgage, car loan, or other debts.
Understand your benefits and rights under the law.
You may have a legal right to certain benefits. For example, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (a federal law), you may be entitled to unpaid leave from your job to care for a loved one with mesothelioma. If you leave your job or are laid off, a federal law called COBRA may allow you to keep your health insurance coverage for up to three years. If you change jobs, another federal law called HIPAA may protect you from being denied health insurance coverage. Your mesothelioma lawyer should help you with this.
Make use of financial help resources in your family, among your friends, and in your community.
Family members and friends may be able to lend you money or help you find sources of financial help in your community. Many community-based organizations offer assistance with housing and transportation and help applying for benefits to people with disabilities. If you can’t pay your utility bills, your community or utility company may have programs that can help.