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Cancer patients should explore all their financial options

Many people's worst fear is being diagnosed with a life-threatening medical illness. Unfortunately, that is the reality for many Floridians. Every day, people are diagnosed with cancer. This oftentimes aggressive and mutli-faceted illness does not discriminate. Everyone from young children to the elderly can be afflicted. Families who are facing a cancer diagnosis generally need to deal with medical uncertainties and extremely high medical costs.

In fact, some cancer drugs can cost as much as $10,000 a month. Under some insurance plans, individuals might be responsible for up to 30 percent of that cost. Therefore, cancer patients have higher rates of bankruptcy than many other Americans.

In order to manage the costs, experts suggest that people talk with their doctors. There are often older cancer medications and treatments that can significantly lower costs while still being effective. This may be one way to save costs. Experts say it is a particularity good option for older people. Furthermore, a financial counselor can be helpful in helping people manage their bills. Experts also suggest that people explore other benefits available to cancer patients through non-profits and other organizations.

In addition to the high costs of treatment, cancer can keep people out of the workplace. In these situations, people need to understand their rights to Social Security Disability income. Depending on the situation, people may qualify for SSDI, which could help them afford their everyday living expenses while they are unable to work. Cancer is a difficult enough diagnosis; therefore, people should exercise every available option to help them meet their needs as they recover.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Can you afford your cancer care?," Kristine Crane, Aug. 6, 2014

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