Questions and Answers About Chemotherapy
Does my health insurance pay for chemotherapy?
Talk with your health insurance plan about what costs it will pay for.
Questions to ask include:
- What will my insurance pay for?
- Do I or does the doctor's office need to call my insurance company before
each treatment for it to be paid for?
- What do I have to pay for?
- Can I see any doctor I want or do I need to choose from a list of preferred
- Do I need a written referral to see a specialist?
- Is there a co-pay (money I have to pay) each time I have an
- Is there a deductible (certain amount I need to pay) before my insurance
- Where should I get my prescription drugs?
- Does my insurance pay for all my tests and treatments, whether I am an
inpatient or outpatient?
How can I best work with my insurance plan?
- Read your insurance policy before treatment starts to find out what your
plan will and will not pay for.
- Keep records of all your treatment costs and insurance claims.
- Send your insurance company all the paperwork it asks for. This may include
receipts from doctors' visits, prescriptions, and lab work. Be sure to also
keep copies for your own records.
- As needed, ask for help with the insurance paperwork. You can ask a friend,
family member, social worker, or local group such as a senior center.
- If your insurance does not pay for something you think it should, find out
why the plan refused to pay. Then talk with your doctor or nurse about what to
do next. He or she may suggest ways to appeal the decision or other actions to
What are clinical trials and are they an option for me
Cancer clinical trials (also called cancer treatment studies or research
studies) test new treatments for people with cancer. These can be studies of
new types of chemotherapy, other types of treatment, or new ways to combine
treatments. The goal of all these clinical trials is to find better ways to
help people with cancer.
Your doctor or nurse may suggest you take part in a clinical trial. You can
also suggest the idea. Before you agree to be in a clinical trial, learn
Benefits. All clinical trials offer quality cancer care.
Ask how this clinical trial could help you or others. For instance, you may be
one of the first people to get a new treatment or drug.
Risks. New treatments are not always better or even as
good as standard treatments. And even if this new treatment is good, it may not
work well for you.
Payment. Your insurance company may or may not pay for
treatment that is part of a clinical trial. Before you agree to be in a trial,
check with your insurance company to make sure it will pay for this
Contact the NCI's Cancer Information Service if you are interested in
learning more about clinical trials.