Living with CF can be expensive. Piled on top of everything you do every day to try to stay healthy, you may find it hard this month to pay rent. Or you have a new bill you just don’t know how you’ll cover. Maybe you’re thinking about making some changes in your life but are worried about how you’ll pay for any of it.
Financial stress doesn’t look the same for every person with CF, or every family, but you’re not alone. Managing finances is doable when you tackle it step by step, starting with the cost of CF care. Learn more about what you can do to manage your finances.
First, if you do not have health insurance, find out what your options are. You could qualify for savings that put low or no-cost plans in reach. Or you may be eligible for public health insurance like Medicaid or CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program).
If you pay for health insurance (for example, you are covered through an employer’s group plan or the
Next, think about how much are you paying for your medications, care center visits, devices, or hospital stays. Are your providers in network? Have you met your plan’s criteria for covering a medication? When you know the details of your health plan, you can maximize your plan’s coverage.
All those co-pays for treatments that are covered by insurance can add up. The same goes for vitamins and
A high medical bill can catch anyone off guard, but you have options if you think your bill isn’t correct or if you can’t pay it right away.
Start with the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that is sent to you from your insurance company often before you get your bill. Is your plan covering your services the way you thought? If not, you may have an option to appeal. Keep in mind an EOB may not reflect final out-of-pocket costs, so when the actual bill comes, review the statement carefully to make sure the charges are correct. If something doesn’t add up, speak up.
Ultimately, if everything checks out, but you just can’t pay a medical bill right now, contact the provider (like your hospital) as soon as possible. There may be a way to reduce what you owe, set up a payment plan, or apply for financial assistance from the institution or other foundation grant programs. Asking is the first step.
Odds are CF isn’t the only thing happening in your life right now. Think about all your expenses outside of CF like rent, food, utilities, college, day care, and transportation. If you are worried about making ends meet, or have fallen behind, there may be organizations or programs that can help.
You may be eligible for programs like SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), or transportation to medical appointments. It can be hard to ask for help, but figuring out what benefits you are eligible for can help you stretch your budget, and sometimes just applying can get you connected to additional help from local programs.
Get Help with Financial Challenges
Your financial planning journey may be unique to you, but you are not alone. Need some help along the way? Talk to your CF care team or give CF Foundation Compass a call at 844-COMPASS (844-266-7277) to get personalized information and resource referrals.