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Saturday, February 13, 2010 summer, Community Member, asks

Q: radiation cost

In a nut shell...Any idea what 33 radiation treatments (10 minutes each Rad.) might cost? My Ins. Co. won't pay it (I'm appealing), I will be able to get the "contracted/allowable Ins. rate since I do have Ins.) so, the radiation place told me that I would be paying what my Ins. Co. was suppose to pay on their end (plus my part) which is still much cheaper than "self pay". But when I called several radiation places, trying to get just a ball park figure as to how much ($10,000.,$20,000.etc.) no one could tell me any thing. They all said I would have to first get a scan and mapping done before they would know. I understand that, but please just a ball park idea. I'm going to have to get a personal finacial loan from a bank to have my radiation until this Ins. thing is settled, I would really like some kind of idea as to how much I may be looking at.

 

In the mean time I have exhausted trying to get any type of financial help.... as it turns out even though my husband has been laid off x2 now and his unemployment has run out, I have been the sole bill payer for a little while now I do not qualify for any finacial assiatance of any kind.. this is do to the fact that I have a savings account of $3000. and aI make more than $300.00 per week. Here I am working F/T trying to finish up the Chemo (only 2 left to go-YEAH!) and now I have to get a loan on my own for radiation yet I can not get a ball park figure to work with a head of time!

 

If I have to I will get the loan some how at the last minute, I have a feeling I'm going to have to do the scan and mapping like they have told me in order to find out the cost. I have until May 6th. before I begin radiation, I would have like to have been able to go get a loan by now or begin the "process" for a loan.

 

Any one: any idea a ball park figure: 33 10 Min. Rads. might cost? I would be getting it on my upper right breast, had a lumpectomy. Thank You!

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Answers (3)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
2/13/10 10:57am

Hi - A few things first. If you're getting radiation at a hospital or cancer center, have you spoken with the social workers there? They're very good at helping patients figure out how to deal with financial issues. Second, please read our post on financial resources for cancer paitents - you might find out you qualify for some help from a non-profit.

 

Just doing some casual online research, it looks like your radiation would cost about $20,000-$25,000. But I sure hope you can get some help here, before you take out a loan. Best of luck to you- PJH

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summer, Community Member
2/13/10 5:23pm

Thank you so much for quickly responding to my question. I am going to visit the web site you sent me in a moment, just wanted to say thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it!

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/13/10 11:21am

Summer, if your oncologist has ordered the radiation, I have a feeling your insurance company will eventually come through.  Radiation is a very standard treatment for breast cancer that is usually covered.  I had to file an appeal in the middle of my radiation treatments because I changed insurers, and the new insurer wanted to deny the payments (No preapproval, hospital out of network, etc.).  The appeal worked, and eventually everything was paid for, but, of course, I was under tremendous stress while I had to wait for it to all work out.

As PJ suggested, in the meantime, talk to the social worker at the hospital.  In some places, a nurse navigator is to person who helps people manage all the paper work and hurdles in the medical system.

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summer, Community Member
2/13/10 5:36pm

Yes. my oncologist did order the radiation she told me that it is not an option and I must have it. I'm still hoping the Ins. Co. is just trying to give me a difficult time and will end up paying for it. I have not been what they call "actually denied" by the Ins. Co. which has been confusing to me since every bill states "will not cover due to pre-existing" when I spoke to the Ins. Co. they told me that they saw a comment from the gyno that I had stated to him that I felt a lump for a while before seeing him.... I wasn't diagnosed at the gyn's office and I had and am still having pains in both breast due to cysts which is what I was referring to when I spoke to the gyno. I still have the cysts (both breasts) and one of the cysts was butt up against the tumor the other Dr. found during the ultra sound & biopsy which were both done the same day. This was the Dr. that ended up actually diagnosing me.... days after the gyno appt. But the Ins. Co. is using the gyno's comments (when I was referring to cysts) prior to my actual diagnosis against me. The Ins. Co. starting denying me the coverage before they had a chance to even pay for my chemo. I didn't find that out until I was 1/2 thru my chemo. Hopefully I will get the Ins. Co. to pay in the future (since I am appealing it) and get some of the money back (was able to pay the whole chemo myself, thankfully the oncologist only charged me the Ins. Co. contracted rate that the Ins. Co. was suppose to pay or it would have cost me even moreso I'm now getting limited on funds). Thanks so much for replying so quickly, I really appreciate it!

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/13/10 5:51pm

I hope it all works out for you.  Be persistent with your appeal and provide as many documents as you can to support your point.

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justme, Community Member
2/13/10 12:19pm

Hi summer, so sorry for your insurance problems on top of having breastcancer.

For your information I had lumpectomy, right breast, then rads; 25 regular and 8 boosts, a total of 33 treatments and my bill was a little over 22,000. so it looks like PJ was right on target with the cost. Wishing you the best of luck with the appeal for coverage. I was "lucky" that my insurance covered everything. I did ask before starting treatment if my insurance was accepted by the treatment center and they said yes.

justme

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summer, Community Member
2/13/10 5:38pm

Tons of thanks for listening and replying to me so quickly. I can't tell everyone how much it means to me! At least I have some sort of idea as to what I may be looking at. Take care and please know it meant a world of warmth to me that you all care!

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By summer, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 02/13/10