Paying for Treatment

Unfortunately, treating mesothelioma can be extremely costly to patients, especially if they do not possess health insurance. However, even those with insurance may not be protected from the high costs associated with cancer treatment. Furthermore, veterans suffering from mesothelioma can only receive mesothelioma benefits if they can conclusively prove their exposure took place while serving in the military. With those kinds of challenges awaiting patients struggling to find a way to pay for their treatment, effective planning needs to take place.

Among the expenses the American Cancer Society recommends patients plan for include:

  • Doctor visits
  • Clinic visits for treatments
  • Procedures (for diagnosis or treatment, which can include room charges, equipment, doctors, pathologists, and more)
  • Lab tests (blood, urine, and others)
  • Imaging tests (x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, including radiologist fees, equipment, or medicines)
  • Radiation treatments (implants, external radiation)
  • Drug costs (inpatient, outpatient, prescription, and procedure-related)
  • Hospital stays (including costs such as drugs, tests, and procedures as well as nursing care, doctor visits, and consultations)
  • Surgery (anesthesiologist, operating room fees, equipment, surgeon, pathologist, and others)
  • Home care (including equipment, drugs, specially trained nurses, and other costs)

Despite the fact that financing their treatment might be low on a patient’s list of concerns after learning of their diagnosis, it remains a vital consideration that deserves early consideration. Often, the best initial step when searching for answers is by directly asking doctors. Although doctors might not have all the answers patients need, they can often help find them.

Although having health insurance makes paying for treatment easier, individuals must still understand the terms of their policy, know who is in their preferred network of doctors and hospitals and keep careful records of their treatment. Failure to follow any of these steps could result in partial or nonexistent reimbursement or plan payment. Patients failing to follow any of these procedures might have to re-submit claims or appeal a coverage denial, which can add much unnecessary stress.

For individuals with private health insurance, contacting their insurance administrator to learn about these details is an important first step. When contacting this administrator, patients should be sure to find out exactly what is covered, how much co-pays are and what their projected out-of-pocket costs will be. For individuals with health insurance through their employer, their benefits department is the best place to start. Individuals with Medicare or Medicaid or any other form of public insurance should speak to their cancer care team to learn how to obtain information about coverage and costs.


The American Cancer Society