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Cancer & Health Insurance

Understanding how to choose and use your health insurance is important to access care and manage your finances, especially after being diagnosed with a serious medical condition like cancer. Having adequate health insurance coverage is the first step to minimize the potential financial toxicity of a cancer diagnosis. It is also important to understand how to use your health insurance coverage to keep your costs lower and get the care you need. This page contains legal and practical materials and resources to help you understand and compare your options, what to do when you lose your insurance at work, and appeal denials of coverage.

While these materials are designed for individuals diagnosed with cancer, caregivers, and health care professionals, they are helpful to anyone with a serious medical condition, or anyone who wants to learn about individual marketplace plans, employer-sponsored plans, Medicare, Medicaid, and more.

Health care professionals can order bulk copies of many of these materials for free.

Health Insurance Basics

A glass jar is filled with coins. It has a sticky note on it that says "health insurance," representing the understanding health insurance webinar.

Health insurance can be confusing. To understand your options and find a plan that’s best for you, there are some health insurance basics that are helpful to know.

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides, Checklists, & Other Materials

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about health insurance, finances, and cancer, by using visiting our Health Insurance and Navigating Health Insurance modules.

Picking a Health Insurance Plan

A dark green circle with a light green check in it

There are three main places from which individuals get health insurance: directly from a health insurance company; from an employer or other group plan; and from the government, such as through Medicare, Medicaid, and the military. Here are our free resources for helping you find a plan that meets your needs and saves you money!

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides, Checklists, & Other Materials

Charts of State Laws

When you have cancer, understanding state laws related to health insurance is important because sometimes state laws provide more protection than federal laws. Explore our Charts of State Laws Related to Health Insurance.

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about finances, work, and cancer, by using visiting our Health Insurance module.

Individual Insurance

A young woman with cancer returns to work as a barista

You can purchase an individual health insurance plan directly from an insurance provider or through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is a helpful resource for you to compare insurance plans sold by private insurance companies, find out if you are eligible for financial help or Medicaid, and how consumer protections help you. These resources will help you understand the Marketplace, and more!

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides, Checklists, & Other Materials

Charts of State Laws

When you have cancer, understanding state laws related to health insurance is important because sometimes state laws provide more protection than federal laws. Explore our Charts of State Laws Related to Health Insurance.

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about health insurance, finances, and cancer, by using visiting our Health Insurance module.

More Tools

Employer-sponsored Health Insurance

A paper family with a stethoscope around them

Group health insurance is typically provided through a group that you belong to, such as your employer or a union. Learn what to do if you lose your insurance at work and your options, the difference between “funded” and “self-funded” plans (and why that's important), consumer protections, tips for picking the right plan, and more!

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides, Checklists, & Other Resources

Charts of State Laws

When you have cancer, understanding state laws related to health insurance is important because sometimes state laws provide more protection than federal laws. Explore our Charts of State Laws Related to Health Insurance.

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about health insurance, finances, and cancer, by using visiting our Health Insurance module.

Medicare

An elderly couple looks at health insurance options on the tablet.

Medicare is the federal government-sponsored program that provides health insurance to individuals who are 65 or older who are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, and individuals under the age of 65 who have certain disabilities. Learn about the different “parts” of Medicare, how to get help paying for it, when to sign up and make changes to your coverage, and how to pick the right plan for your needs!

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides, Checklists, & Other Materials

Charts of State Laws

Understanding state laws related to Medicare is important because sometimes state laws provide more protection than federal laws. Explore our Charts of State Laws Related to Medicare Coverage & Navigation.

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about Medicare and cancer, by using visiting our Medicare module.

Medicaid

Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal government-sponsored health insurance program for individuals with limited assets and low incomes. These free materials and resources will help you understand if you qualify, how to apply, the different Medicaid programs, and more!

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides, Checklists, & Other Materials

Charts of State Laws

Understanding state laws related to Medicaid is important because sometimes state laws provide more protection than federal laws. Explore our Chart of State Laws Related to Medicaid Coverage & Navigation.

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about Medicaid and cancer, by using visiting our Health Insurance module.

More Tools

Military Insurance

A military veteran holds onto his son.

Learn about the different types of health insurance coverage for individuals who are currently serving or are veterans of the U.S. Military (including the Reserve or National Guard) and their dependents. And, we cover the resources available to veterans specifically!

Coverage of Cancer-Related Care

Understanding in advance what your insurance does and does not cover, can help save valuable time after a cancer diagnosis. Explore our Chart of Military Coverage of Cancer-Related Care for more information.

Understanding Health Insurance Coverage

Two yellow arrows on a street point in opposite directions.

Having adequate health insurance coverage is a key factor in avoiding financial toxicity for people with cancer. But understanding how to use that health insurance can be overwhelming.

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides

My Health Coverage at-a-Glance

Shows how to keep track of health plan information and payment in a customizable format. (English | Spanish)

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about health insurance and cancer, by using visiting our Navigating Health Insurance module.

Appeals

A person is cutting a piece a paper so it says "I can do it," instead of "I can't do it."

At some point during cancer treatment, you may experience a denial of coverage from an insurance company, whether for an imaging scan, prescription drug, treatment, procedure, or genetic test. Most people take “no” for an answer. But those who don’t accept the denial, and file an appeal, may actually win and get coverage for the care prescribed by their health care team up to 60% of the time! These free materials and resources demystify an important process that doesn't have to be out of reach!

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Quick Guides, Checklists, & Other Materials

Charts of State Laws

Understanding state laws related to health insurance appeals is important because sometimes state laws provide more protection than federal laws. Explore our Chart of State Laws Related to Health Insurance.

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Make informed decisions about health insurance appeals, by using visiting our Health Insurance Appeals and Navigating Health Insurance modules.

Animated Videos & Webinars

Prescription Drugs

A bottle of white pills is spilled over on a table

Prescription drugs can be expensive, especially those used to treat cancer and its side effects. However, understanding the way your insurance covers your prescription drugs and taking advantage of available resources, can help you reduce your costs. Here is some helpful information to help you navigate health insurance and prescriptions.

Many of our materials and resources are also available in Spanish.

Cancer Finances

CancerFinances.org is an interactive toolkit for navigating finances after cancer. Sometimes, the most affordable way to pay for your prescriptions is to not use your insurance at all. We'll explain your options in our Managing Prescription Drug Costs module.

Medical Bills

A pile of money

To learn more about managing medical bills after cancer, visit our Financial Resource Hub.

Clinical Trials

A scientist works in a lab

For information on health insurance coverage of clinical trials, visit our Clinical Trials Resource Hub.

One-on-one Help

Triage Cancer Legal & Financial Navigation Program

Triage Cancer has a free Legal & Financial Navigation Program that provides one-on-one assistance on a variety of topics, including health insurance, to empower you to confidently take next steps.