The Invisible Fees Hitting Our Community’s Cancer Patients

The good Samaritan syndrome, strangers helping strangers
The good Samaritan syndrome, strangers helping strangers

I just cannot shake the high cost of health care from my list of worries.  And that being said, it has come to my attention that patients and families of patients battling cancer have turned to “crowdfunding” (Click here)as a source of funding for medical bills,  Modern technology has brought a great opportunity to people having difficulties paying for their medical expenses while battling cancer. Some of these expenses include, but are not limited to, travel costs for treatment, chemotherapy, radiation, vitamins, wigs, various medications, the cost of missing an expanded period of work, childcare, doctors appointments, family/living expenses, caregiving expenses, potential legal issues, etc. In theory, Obamacare makes it so insurance companies cannot opt of covering preexisting conditions, but it’s the hidden fees and invisible costs that get to the pockets of patients and their families.

My family, in particular, learned this when my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and breast cancer within three months of each other. My mother, in her mid 50’s is our primary source of family income. My younger sister and I are her only two children. As a teacher, we were very lucky that she had enough sick days to cover her year out of work. She also had great health insurance that covered a majority of her treatment. Yet, having some of the best treatment coverage one could possibly have still was not enough for us. The co-payments for her daily and weekly treatments added up quickly. The 40 minutes to an hour of driving per visit to her oncologist, surgeon, and various other doctors she had to see, took up a lot of gas.

The care that she received at New York Oncology Hematology in Rexford and Ellis Hospital in Schenectady was top notch. I saw this with my own eyes the one day I could get off of work to take her to a chemotherapy session. This particular day she experienced an unexpected allergic reaction. As I ran to get the nurse, watching my mother’s face turn a deep shade of red under her scarfed head, the nurses had her taken care of as soon as the words “My mother needs help” slipped from my mouth. I am not denying in my argument that healthcare workers deserve anything less than what they are being paid.  In order to save the patients money. I am, however, arguing that there should be more done for the invisible expenses cancer patients face. Continue reading The Invisible Fees Hitting Our Community’s Cancer Patients