Other Ways to Get Insurance

If you weren’t insured before your diagnosis or have lost your insurance for any reason, you may be feeling scared and overwhelmed at the thought of paying for breast cancer care. Remember, you deserve the best possible care. There is help available – you just have to know where to look.

A patient navigator or social worker from your doctor’s office should be able to help you find coverage. You can also ask a friend or family member to help you explore options if you don’t feel up to doing it.

There are a number of federal and state programs available to help get some or all of your expenses paid if you meet certain eligibility requirements.

Medicare and Medicaid

To find out if you may be eligible for Medicareinfo-icon or Medicaidinfo-icon, please read our section on private, state and federal insurance. Apply for Medicaid, even if you don’t think you meet the income criteria. Many financial assistance programs require that you apply to Medicaid before they consider you, so keep records of your application.           

National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

Through this program, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventioninfo-icon (CDC) provides screeninginfo-icon and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured or underserved women for free or very little cost. The program is funded in 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories and 11 American Indian/Alaskan Native tribes or tribal organizations. If you were diagnosed through this program, you are eligible to have your treatments covered by Medicaidinfo-icon.

Veteran’s Benefits

To find out if you or a loved one qualify for health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) visit va.gov or call (877) 222-8387.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

You may be eligible for CHIP if you are pregnant or have children. CHIP eligibility requirements vary by state. Contact a social workerinfo-icon at your doctor’s office or your state’s department of health and human services to learn about enrollment criteria. Information can also be found at Medicaidinfo-icon.gov.

Other Insurance Options

In addition to state and federal health insurance programs, you may find coverage through the following:

  • Some unions, civic groups and associations. These kinds of groups sometimes offer members guaranteed-issue group insurance (health plans available to you regardless of your health history).
  • Employers. Many employers offer their employees sponsored group health coverage.
  • Health insurance extension programs, like COBRA and others offered by individual states.
  • HMOs in your area.
August 31, 2015