HEALTH INSURANCE FOR CANCER PATIENTS (Page 4)

(www.cancerandcareers.org)

Other Insurance Resources

There's yet more help, and it's free, thanks to the growing number of advocacy organizations, some dealing with cancer only (or even a specific cancer) and others devoted to health care coverage needs in general.

When you've got a thorny insurance issue, here are some places to turn:

The Patient Advocate Foundation (www.patientadvocate.org), established by breast cancer survivor Nancy Davenport-Ennis, fields telephone calls via its hotline (800-532-5274) and assigns a case manager who sticks with you until the coverage problem is solved, whether that means one telephone call or dozens.

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (www.cancercare.org) provides similar assistance through its toll-free number (877-622-7937) and also helps callers locate legal resources to solve insurance problems when the need arises.

The American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org), in the Cancer Resource Center section of its Web site, provides basic information on paying for chemotherapy, tips for keeping track of your insurance information, and "A Primer On Insurance Coverage for Women with Breast Cancer." Its information line (800-ACS-2345) is staffed by volunteers who will provide the same information by telephone.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org) provides links to specific state departments of insurance and other departments that regulate managed care. From these state offices, you can get information specific to your state. You can find out, for instance, if your state has external review boards for appeals.

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