Cancer Financial Planning Resources
A curated inventory of 17 sources of information on financial planning and assistance for those who have cancer has been provided below. This includes a mixture of resources such as lookup tools that facilitate the identification of patient-specific financial assistance programs, inventories of financial aid and planning resources and topic-specific discussion pieces on subjects such as the establishment of trusts, investment accounts and other estate planning activities within the context of cancer.
#1: Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition
- The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC) is a coalition of organizations including the American Cancer Society that is dedicated to "helping cancer patients manage their financial challenges." To this end, the group is currently hosting a lookup tool (link here) that enables cancer patients to quickly identify specific types of assistance (e.g., legal, medication) as well as support for key populations (e.g., children). Additionally, the resource provides best practices for managing finances through cancer and outlines key sources for obtaining financial assistance during treatment.
#2: Patient Advocate Foundation
- In a fashion somewhat similar to CFAC, the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) currently hosts a lookup tool that enables cancer patients to identify a "list of the potential organizations that may have programs to address your needs," based on a person's specific age range, residential state, type of cancer diagnosis and type of assistance needed (link here). Notably, PAF is a national 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that offers "case management services and financial aid to Americans with chronic, life-threatening and debilitating illnesses."
#3: Family Reach
- Family Reach is another national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which, in this case, is "dedicated to removing the financial barriers standing between a cancer patient and their treatment." In addition to directly offering a Financial Treatment Program resource for cancer patients (link here), the organization also publishes a Financial Guidebook for Adult Cancer (link here).
- Cancer.Net is a site hosted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) that provides an overview of financial considerations for patients with cancer (link here), including how to calculate out-of-pocket costs with a health insurance provider and understanding how the Affordable Care Act may impact treatment and reimbursement. As part of this overview, the source includes a robust inventory of financial resources for cancer patients, including national service organizations, local service organizations, housing assistance, travel assistance, medication/treatment cost assistance and general financial help (link here).
#5: American Cancer Society — Financial Resources
- The American Cancer Society similarly maintains a current inventory of "Programs and Resources to Help With Cancer-related Expenses" (link here). This includes support for short-term housing, caregiver expenses, transportation and food costs.
#6: American Cancer Society — Medicaid
- Separately, the American Cancer Society provides an overview of how Medicaid can be leveraged to provide "affordable health care coverage to lower-income cancer patients and survivors" (link here). An abbreviated version of this information is also available at this link here.
#7: American Cancer Society — Medicare
- In tandem, the American Cancer Society provides an overview of how Medicare can be leveraged to provide cancer drug coverage (link here) and screening/testing (link here).
#8: American Cancer Society — Social Security
- Additionally, the American Cancer Society provides an overview of Social Security Disability Income for individuals with cancer, including the criteria to qualify and links to additional sources of information (link here). This is separate and more robust than the abbreviated analysis that was previously identified (link here).
#9: The United States Social Security Administration
- The United States Social Security Administration also directly provides guidance on Social Security Disability Income for individuals with cancer within a slightly dated discussion piece (link here). This is separate from the direct link to the Compassionate Allowances site that was previously identified (link here).
#10: Financial Guide for Cancer Survivors and Their Families
- The American Cancer Society partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) to produce a Financial Guide for Cancer Survivors and Their Families (link here). Although somewhat dated, this resource provides timeless guidance related to financial planning and assistance for those who have cancer, how to find a financial planner who is sensitive to a cancer diagnosis and what questions a cancer patient should ask a financial planner during an interview.
#11: Financial Guidance for Families
- The American Cancer Society similarly partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) to produce Financial Guidance for Families who have lost a loved one to cancer (link here). Dated at the same time as the preceding companion piece, this guide is a timeless resource for families in the event of tragedy following a cancer diagnosis.
#12: Cancer Health Magazine
- Cancer Health Magazine (link here) is an online publication that is dedicated to providing information about "prevention, treatment and quality of life for people living with cancer and their loved ones." Among its resources is a somewhat timely piece that discusses how the global pandemic has impacted the availability of financial lifelines for cancer patients (link here).
- SurvivorNet is another media organization that provides content that is tailored to cancer patients and their families, in this case with an emphasis on sourcing insights from medical specialists and other experts (link here). The publication recently interviewed Co-Founder and Managing Partner of financial advisory firm TwinFocus Paul Karger about the “financial steps people may want to consider when they’re diagnosed with cancer,” including planning documents, trusts and investment accounts (link here).
#14: Foundation for Financial Planning
- The Foundation for Financial Planning (link here) facilitates pro bono connections between volunteer financial planners and people who are in crisis/need. Notably, the organization was recently profiled by CNBC for its availability as a resource for connecting cancer patients with free financial planning support (link here).
#15: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) similarly published a 73-page overview on estate planning after a cancer diagnosis (link here). While this resource is slightly dated, it offers one of the more robust, credible and timeless overviews of estate planning in the context of cancer.
- Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe offers a timely piece that discusses new and innovative fundraising options for cancer patients (link here).
#17: Triage Cancer
- Triage Cancer (link here) is a "national non-profit that provides education on practical & legal issues for individuals with cancer, caregivers, & health care professionals." Among the organization's recent articles is a piece that similarly discusses how to use crowdfunding to raise financial support for cancer care through platforms including GoFundMe (link here).