This story begins on June 30, 2013 when I discovered a lump in my left breast. That day has changed my life forever – some ways good … others, as you can imagine, not so good. If you would like to read the journey about my battle with breast cancer from the beginning, click here.
If you only want to read the post right before this one, click here.
Breast Cancer and No Insurance
I had recently quit working with a very difficult client who was not paying me anyway for the work I had done. In fact, he still has not paid me fully and it has been over 12 weeks … but that is another story and another battle to fight at another time.
My husband had not been able to find employment for over 6 months after shutting down our failing business. Finances were tight with no relief in sight. The bills were piling up … you know how the story goes.
I thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse and then … I found myself facing cancer with no income and no insurance. Not a good place to be!
First things first … I called the facilities that do mammograms to find out how much they cost and I am in for a shock. It had been at least 13 years since I had had one, and I had insurance at the time … The tests, a mammogram (and associated ultrasound for an existing lump), was over $500! I knew I was in trouble. We did not have that kind of disposable income lying around … anywhere! And to make things worse, they would not even let me schedule the tests without seeing a doctor to agree with me that I needed them, and to get my “prescription” for the tests. So that was additional funds that I would need and did not have.
I was getting very frustrated because after having paid into the system for more than 30 years I was not having much luck finding the help I needed and there was something very inherently wrong with that – especially when there are others who have never paid and are able to get this kind of help easily.
Fortunately, I did not find myself facing this dilemma for very long before some friends pointed me in the right direction. With a few phone calls, I was able to find an organization to fund the testing and the biopsy if it was needed. What a blessing!
Breast Cancer Screening Funding Sources
Here are a few links to get you started:
Find Free or Low-Cost Mammograms has several different sources sited to help find funding for testing.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation‘s mission is to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need.
Besides these sites, you can also Google “funding for mammograms” or “free mammograms in (your town or nearby city).” Call facilities that do mammograms and ask them for information about funding sources to help those who do not have insurance. Your family physician may be able to provide you with some resources as well.
If you and your family are in a lower income bracket, you may be able to apply for Medicaid. I thought I was going to be able to take this route, but right after finding the lump, my husband found a job. It placed us beyond this option, but it is an option you can check into for yourself.
If you are like me and desperate for help, I hope this helps you get the funding for the testing you need to determine if you have cancer or not. Stress is already quite abundant when you are facing a cancer diagnosis; funding to get the proper testing is an issue that no one should have to struggle with. Best of luck!
The next segment of this series continues here.