Having a brain tumor is expensive.
Currently in the U.S., the cost of temozolomide (Temodar, Temodal) treatment is over $10,000 per month. If you add in Gliadel Wafers, it adds another $10,000 to your initial resection surgery. And treatment with Avastin + CPT-11 can be over $50,000 per year. Clearly, medical insurance is critical when dealing with a brain tumor, but even then the out-of-pocket expenses can become overwhelming.
But despite the financial challenges of treating a brain tumor, there are a wide variety of things you can do, big and small, to help pay for treatment. For starters, most pharmaceutical companies have internal groups which will help you find ways to pay for its drugs, including working with your doctors and insurance providers.
The following companies and organizations provide discounts, grants, and financial assistance to brain tumor patients. I'd like to thank Sue Mason for starting this list.
- Schering: Fortunately, Medicare and most insurers now pay for temozolomide treatment, but if you need help paying for temozolomide beyond what your insurance covers, you should call Schering's Commitment to Care program at 1-800-521-7157. Unfortunately, Schering doesn't have much of a "commitment", and 2 the patients we know who have applied for the program were denied despite obvious need.
- PSI: Patient Services Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit which helps patients figure out how to pay for expensive medication, and they have helped several patients we know get temozolomide.
- Genentech: To get help paying for Avastin, you can call the Genentech Access to Care Foundation at 1-800-530-3083, or check out their web site at http://www.spoconline.com.
- Cancer Fund Of America: http://www.cfoa.org. Provides all FREE basic living needs such as shampoo, candy, toys, clothes, crutches, advil, and many, many more items. www.cfoa.org, can also be reached at 1-800-578-5284 or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Compassion Partners: Provides FREE theme park tickets in Florida, for you and your entire family if you have a "terminal" or "life threatening illness" verified by your doctor. The number to call is 407-396-1114, the lady you need to talk to is Donna.
- BellSouth: also offers approximately $12.00 off your phone bill through the "Lifeline" program if you are on medicaid.
- The Tim And Tom Gullikson Scholarship Program: This foundation will give scholarships to children whose parents who have had or has brain tumors. Just type in Tim and Tom Gullikson Foundation.
- The George Bartol Scholarship Foundation: Gives scholarships to persons whose parents have had or has aa brain tumor or tumors. Just type in The George Bartol Scholarship Fund.
- Crossing the Finish Line: www.crossingthefinishline.org. This org. will give a FREE 1 week all expense paid vacation tto those with a diagnosis of cancer, and their caregiver. Needs verification by your doctor. Children allowed if feasible. Open to those ONLY IN THE STATES OF PA, NJ, and DE. Must be between the ages of 18-50 years of age.
- www.needymeds.com Will provide you with free medication if your income qualifies.
- Angel Flight West: www.angelflight.org. Angel Flight West provides FREE transportation to medical treatment for those who cannot afford public transportation, or who cannot tolerate it for health reasons. Angel Flight also flies missions in response to other compelling needs. Angel Flight West accepts requests from individuals or health care professionals such as social workers and physicians. They have regional flight programs accross the country, you can call one of these organizations that can direct you to the appropriate branch. You can also call Angel Flight West toll free at: 1-888-4-AN-ANGEL or 888-426-2643.
- Amercian Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org
- BTS Cares: http://www.tbts.org
- Cancer Care, Inc.: http://www.cancercare.org
- The Candlelighter's Childhood Cancer Foundation: http://www.candlelighters.org
- Children's Emergency Relief Foundation & Children's Wish Foundation Intl.: http://www.childrenswish.org
- Hill-Burton Free Health Care: http://www.hrsa.gov
- Medicine Program: http://www.themedicineprogram.com
- National Association for the Terminally Ill: http://www.terminallyill.org
- National Children's Cancer Society: http://www.children-cancer.com
- Patient Advocate Foundation: http://www.patientadvocate.org or http://www.copays.org