Paying Your Medical Bills When Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Treatment is Expensive
Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive cancer, resistant to most current cancer treatments. Because it is a relatively rare cancer, the medical community often has difficulty diagnosing the disease and determining the best treatment. Patients are often referred to specialists for diagnosis and a treatment plan.
Treatment costs often include physician fees, hospital stays, tests, chemotherapy treatments, radiation therapy and medications. The cost for just one chemotherapy treatment alone can run $6,000 while the patient often has 4-6 cycles of chemotherapy. If non-traditional treatment methods are selected, such as photodynamic or gene therapy, costs can run even higher.
Treatment costs may be covered by the patient’s health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. However, many patients may not be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, or they may not have sufficient health insurance. The medical costs can leave mesothelioma victims deep in debt. Special treatments and clinical trials may also not be covered. Belluck and Fox can help mesothelioma patients cover the costs of medical treatment by filing a lawsuit on their behalf, where all of a patient’s medical bills can be recovered.
While turning down treatments should never be an option, some mesothelioma patients may actually consider this route out of fear of debt. You should know that there are options for payment, as well for financial support to alleviate the stress of high medical bills.
- Request an itemized statement for your bills and review them carefully. Medical bills are not always accurate and any errors you discover should be immediately brought to the attention of the medical provider.
- If you are covered by insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, make sure you check for approval of any medical procedures. If approval is required but not secured, you may be responsible for the full payment of the service.
- If you cannot pay your bill, do not ignore it. Contact your medical provider’s patient account representative to come up with a payment plan or another alternative for paying your bill. Many hospitals do not charge interest for payment plans, and many have employees who can offer guidance on financing or payment options.
- Ask your hospital if financial aid is available for patients struggling to pay their bills. Your hospital will assist you in filing for government-sponsored programs and other financial assistance programs.
- Some charity programs will erase bills for patients with incomes of 200 percent or less of federal poverty limits. For those with incomes up to 400 percent of the poverty limits discounts may be offered.
- Negotiate with the hospital for the same prices it charges insurance companies. If the resulting bill is manageable, you can then pay through a payment plan. If the negotiated bill is still too high, try again. You may want to have an attorney help with these discussions.
- It’s not advisable to borrow from a financial institution to pay your bill. The interest charged for a loan will result in even higher bills for you, and can result in additional collection issues.
- Prioritize your bills and take care of the essential ones such as mortgage, car payment and food before you pay your medical bills. Do not be pressured by bill collectors into making poor choices.
Learn more about your legal options and contact us for any information you may need.