When you hear the word “cancer”, it immediately brings to mind words like “struggle”, “battle”, and “loss”. For most, it also brings to mind several treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery – all with the same negative connotations as the word “cancer”. Many also think about costs and if there is any type of cancer treatment funding available. However, with today’s advancements in science, technology, and alternative medicine, many seek out other options when faced with this devastating diagnosis.
It’s no surprise that people are beginning to shy away from conventional medicine – turning on the news on any given day yields a report of botched vaccines, horrible side effects, recalls, and new studies denouncing what was once thought of as good practice or effective medicine. Conflicting studies present conflicting evidence and the public is becoming increasingly wary of invasive procedures and big pharma. The effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy are constantly challenged and some argue that these treatments do more harm than good. The problem with seeking alternative treatments, however, is that they are rarely covered by health insurance, leading people who have no other source of funding to believe that they have no other choice than to undergo conventional treatments.
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There are other options for funding alternative treatments that you may not be aware of.
In a climate where individuals are actively seeking out alternative cancer treatments, such as proton therapy, holistic and herbal medicine, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, stem cell therapy, the Gerson Institute therapy, and antineoplaston therapy, there are several options for financial assistance that don’t break the bank. The Cancer Coalition of America provides grants for those who can no longer afford to pay for their treatment; this is ideally for those who are already receiving an effective treatment but are at risk of being unable to continue due to lack of funds. Here are a few other sources:
Cancercare.org – This nonprofit currently provides transportation to treatment, home care, childcare, medical equipment, and pain and nausea medications. To be eligible, your diagnosis must be confirmed by an oncologist, live in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, and meet the income limit (varies depending upon the number of people in your household).
Healthwell Foundation – This is another nonprofit that helps people pay for their medication. To qualify, you must have insurance that covers your medication, you must be receiving treatment in the United States, and your income must fall in the guidelines (up to 400-500% of the Federal Poverty Level). This organization provides this service for various other impairments such as cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis.
GiveForward – This website allows you to create a fundraiser for yourself or a loved one. This allows others to donate, post words of encouragement, and track your progress.
The SAMFund – This organization distributes grants for young adults with cancer. In order to be eligible, you must be between the ages of 18-39 and meet the treatment criteria. While alternative treatments can be covered, this organization also gives you the option of covering legal costs and cosmetic/reconstructive procedures if you choose.
Depending on the state in which you reside, there may be non-profit organizations willing to help fund your alternative treatment, such as Visionary Alternatives, Inc., a Florida- based organization providing financial assistance for unconventional therapies as well as discount rates for clinics. To search for resources in your state, visit cancerfac.org.
Viatical Settlement – This option allows you to sell your existing life insurance policy in order to use the funds for your treatment or for any other purpose. It involves selling a life insurance policy to a third party so that the funds can be used while the policy holder is alive. When a third party purchases the policy, they undertake responsibility for paying the monthly premiums and become the new owner of the policy. The funds received from the sale of the policy can then be used to cover alternative treatments and their associated costs or for any other reason the seller wants to use the funds for. This process typically takes anywhere from 20-90 days, allowing the seller to get the funds they need in a timely manner. For more information on this option, please fill out the form below or call (516)-368-5361 to speak to a specialist and find out how much money you can obtain from selling your policy.
The Cost of Alternative Treatments Can Be Overwhelming
While some of the foregoing options make sense for those seeking treatment in the country, an increasing number of people are leaving the country to seek out alternative treatments in Mexico and Europe. While these clinics offer a variety of holistic therapies as well as stem cell therapies that are not available in the U.S., receiving financial aid may be a little more complicated. Some clinics offer payment plans, others link directly to medical loan websites, and some clearly state that they do not accept insurance and require payment up front, leaving the prospective patient in a bit of a bind. Viatical settlements are a common source of funding for people receiving treatment out of the country.
Due to the rise in its popularity, some US-based insurance companies cover “medical tourism” under their policies, though this coverage seems to vary greatly. Some clinics suggest using a 3rd party biller, such as United International Health Net, Inc., to help with the process of receiving reimbursement for treatment in Mexico.
While there are clear hurdles to overcome in the process of receiving alternative treatments, especially outside of the country, testimonials from those who have overcome the struggle are overwhelmingly positive. As Americans continue to become more health-conscious and more skeptical of conventional medicine, more opportunities to harness the benefits of holistic and alternative medicine become more prevalent and in turn, more nonprofits, loans, and financial aid options are appearing for cancer patients every day.
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The above information provided by Hidden Gem Life Solutions is just that, information. It is not medical advice or endorsement of any particular medical method.