The diagnosis of cancer can bring thoughts of concern about finances and insurance. There are several things you can do to make sure you are prepared. This is one area where you can accept help from a friend or family member. It should be someone you trust but it will take stress away from you.
- Develop a written list of your monthly bills and passwords for your online banking and payments. This will allow your spouse or a family member to help while you are undergoing treatment.
- Make sure your legal documents are in order such as your Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Advanced Directive and Will.
- If you are concerned about your ability to pay all your monthly obligations; call your creditors and inform them of your situation. Ask if you may make lower payments.
- Rank your bills in order of priority. Pay your rent or mortgage, utilities and buy groceries before anything else.
- Become familiar with the coverage your insurance offers. What is your deductible? Do you have a co-pay? Are your physicians ‘in-network’? Do you have a co-pay? Do you need preauthorization for chemotherapy?
- Set up a notebook for your medical bills. Include a section for each physician and facility where you receive care. In each section include the name of the clinic or hospital; the name of your account representative and their phone number.
- In your notebook; track what is billed, claims filed and what is paid by your insurance and what is paid by you. Not only does this help you with understanding what is billed, paid and owed but it will also allow you to have records ready when you file your income taxes.
- Also in your notebook; record any phone calls you have with your account representative or insurance company. Note the date and name of the person you talked with as well as the outcome of the call.