The month of October is filled with the colors yellow, orange, and red as the leaves change. Another color we see in October is pink because October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which brings attention and education about this particular type of cancer. In 2013, an estimated 232,340 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 39,620 died from breast cancer in the United States. Given the amount of people affected by this cancer, it is necessary to bring awareness to women and men about early detection and how to cope with treatment and recovery.
After diagnosis, treatment begins right away which often makes patients wonder if they have the proper health insurance coverage to reduce the costs. The Susan G. Komen website gives a list of important questions to ask your insurance provider before starting your treatments, especially since some providers need to approve the first treatment. No insurance plan will cover all the costs that come along with the treatment of breast cancer, but some provide more coverage than others.
Here are some important questions to ask before even going on your first appointment:
- Is there a difference in coverage for treatments that are considered in network versus out of network?
- Exactly what costs are covered and what is the copay and deductible? This will include costs for blood tests, office visits, radiology exams, surgery, chemotherapy, etc. Being aware of the associated costs will help prepare you for payment plans.
- What payment plans are available?
- What is my prescription drug coverage? It is important to know the cap on prescription drug coverage and what the copay is.
- What are the costs for staying overnight in a hospital?
- If I want a second or third opinion, is it covered? Also if I want a second opinion out of network is that covered?
- Will I be covered if I join a clinical trial?
- Are any complementary therapies covered, such as acupuncture?
Preparing yourself or a loved one for what costs they can expect can make the process of treatment less stressful. Once finding out the costs, most hospitals and medical centers have a financial counselor that can help you manage the costs. It is also important to have an independent insurance agent to protect you from these unforeseen events. If you need health, life, dental, or vision insurance, our agents at Buttrey-Wulff-Mamminga can provide you with health insurance for yourself, family, or other groups.