COVID-19 Emergency Funds & Available Medical Bill Assistance for Cancer Patients

By: Patricia Callahan, LMSW, Cancer Resource Specialist at Cancer Support Community North Texas

During the current COVID-19 crisis, individuals and families already burdened by the high cost of cancer, inability or decreased ability to work, and the physical and emotional tolls of their cancer and it’s treatment may be experiencing increased challenges in meeting their basic expenses for a variety of reasons: furlough or layoff of themselves or their caregiver, decreased availability of financial assistance, or loss of health insurance. Check out these COVID-19 Emergency Funds designed to bolster resources for living expenses during the pandemic and the nonprofits and foundations which have open funds to assist with copays and medical bills.

COVID-19 Emergency Funds

Cancer Support Community
Cancer Emergency Fund
This fund will provide assistance in the form of a $250 relief grant for people with cancer who are in active treatment, including palliative and hospice care. This assistance is for non-medical expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. Please be aware that our funds are limited, and we are working to assist as many patients as possible. The financial assistance will be limited to food, transportation, housing, utilities, childcare, or other non-medical expenses.
Call our Cancer Emergency Fund toll-free number — 1-888-409-4166— to learn more and to apply for the program.

Good Days
COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund open for anyone with a chronic disease and Medicare during the pandemic: $250
The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund is a reimbursement only program. The following expenses are eligible for reimbursement:

  • Food (including meal delivery services, take-out, pick-up and groceries)
  • Utility Bills
  • Rent or Mortgage Payments
  • Transportation (including Gas, Taxi/Cab Fare, Ride-Share Services, Parking Fees, Tolls)
  • Hotel Rooms
  • Flights

For more information or questions regarding the COVID-19 program, please contact a Care Navigator at (855) 215-2717.

The Assistance Fund
COVID-19 Health Insurance Assistance Program
The COVID-19 Health Insurance Assistance Program provides immediate financial support for eligible TAF patients by offering grants of up to $2,500 to help them secure health insurance for the remainder of 2020. Applicants will be required to submit verification that they lost insurance, purchased new insurance or are paying for a continuation of their previous insurance, and proof of economic hardship.
To be eligible for the COVID-19 Health Insurance Assistance Program, you must be actively enrolled or have been enrolled in a TAF copay program in 2020; you must have filed a claim in 2020; must not be currently enrolled in a TAF financial assistance program; and must meet the following additional criteria:

  • You must be a legal resident of the United States or a US territory, and must fall within household-income and household-size financial guidelines based upon the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Your insurance coverage must have been impacted by a COVID-19-related job loss.
  • You must have secured or be in the process of securing replacement insurance (or must be paying directly for continuation of existing insurance).
  • You must submit a complete program application that includes the patient’s attestation.

Note: You are required to apply online. Phone and paper applications will not be accepted.

Colorectal Cancer Alliance
Crisis Financial Assistance Fund and Screening Support
If you are a colorectal cancer patient in treatment, you are eligible to apply for our crisis financial awards. If you are seeking colorectal cancer screening, such as colonoscopy, we can help connect you to a resource that works best for you.
Funds may be used for any daily living expenses such as household bills, childcare, transportation costs, or food. Applicants who are U.S. residents and are eligible may receive a $200 award.

Lymphoma Research Foundation
COVID-19 Financial Assistance Grant
LRF’s COVID-19 related financial assistance provides limited financial assistance for people with lymphoma/CLL in active treatment to help with costs including food, transportation, lodging or housing, utilities, child care, and/or devices (e.g., canes, wheelchairs, ramps, air filters). In order to be eligible for financial assistance you must:

  • Have a diagnosis of lymphoma or CLL confirmed by an oncology health care provider (Physician Referral Form must be completed)
  • Be in active treatment for your cancer or received treatment within the last 6 months
  • Live in and be a legal resident of the U.S
  • Have a household income that is at or below 500 percent of the U.S. federal poverty guidelines

Please note that these funds cannot support co-pays and/or coinsurance, insurance premiums and direct costs of medicine.
Contact the LRF Helpline at 800-500-9976 or helpline@lymphoma.org to apply for the COVID-19 Financial Assistance Grant

Lungevity
COVID-19 Breathe Easier Emergency Response Fund
The Breathe Easier fund will offer financial assistance to eligible lung cancer patients and their families to satisfy their critical basic needs of food, transportation, and general household bills. Support in the amount of $500 will be provided to eligible patients and their families.
Call the Lung Cancer HELPLine (844-360-5864), a free phone service in partnership with CancerCare, to learn more and apply for support from the Breathe Easier fund. To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Patients must be in active treatment, or actively pursuing treatment, for lung cancer.
  • The patient’s household income does not exceed 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL); however, special consideration will be given to those who are recently unemployed or furloughed as a result of COVID-19.
  • Patient must be a US resident and be receiving care for lung cancer in the US.

Team Rubicon Disaster Response
COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program
The COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Fund, a program of Patient Advocate Foundation (“PAF”), in collaboration with Team Rubicon (“TR”) provides financial assistance to patients who have been diagnosed with cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis and have been impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Fund grant is intended to help with out of pocket expenses for food/nutritional needs, including assistance with groceries, food delivery, take-out, and medically designed meals.
There are two ways this program may be able to assist you:

  • Team Rubicon is mobilizing volunteers to provide food pick-up and delivery assistance.
  • Patient Advocate Foundation is providing a one-time $500 financial assistance grant to those in need of financial assistance to purchase food.

Tigerlily Foundation
Funds for Families COVID-19 Relief Program
Tigerlily Foundation now offers financial grants to breast cancer patients through the Funds for Families COVID-19 Relief Program. The program provides financial assistance to families based on need. To be eligible and in line with our mission statement, the breast cancer patient must be 45 years old or younger at time of diagnosis.
Financial assistance is limited to a one-time grant of between $250 to $500 per applicant.
Funding is limited, therefore, not guaranteed.
It may take up to 21 days to process and approve your application.
Tigerlily works diligently to meet as many requests as possible.

Open Funds for Treatment Related Expenses

The Assistance Fund
Open Funds

  • Melanoma

Open Waitlists

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Renal Cell Carcinoma

Lymphoma Research Foundation
Contact the LRF Helpline at 800-500-9976 or helpline@lymphoma.org to apply for the Patient Aid Grant.
LRF’s Patient Aid Program provides one-time grants to qualified applicants. Qualified applicants can only receive a one-time grant from either our COVID-19 Financial Assistance or Patient Aid Grant. In turn, any individuals awarded a grant from the original Patient Aid Grant program cannot apply for a COVID-19 Financial Assistance and vice versa.

Healthwell Foundation
Open Funds:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Cancer-Related Behavioral Health (Accepting phone applications only)
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Gastric Cancer – Medicare Access
  • Mantle Cell Lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma – Medicare Access
  • Pediatric Assistance (Accepting phone applications only)
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer – Medicare Access
  • Wilm’s Tumor

Cancer Care
Open Funds:

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer

Patient Access Network Foundation
Open Funds

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Co-pay Assistance Program
Open Funds

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Mantle Cell Lymphoma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
  • Myeloma
  • Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

1 Up on Cancer
Accepting applications for 3rd quarter grants for all types of cancer “Dedicated to direct financial assistance for adults in the United States undergoing cancer treatment.”

  • Q1 = January – March
  • Q2 = April – June
  • Q3 = July – September
  • Q4 = October – December

Resources from Cancer Support Community North Texas

If you have questions about any of these emergency funds or if you are looking for other resources, please contact our Cancer Resource Specialist, Patricia Callahan, at PCallahan@CancerSupportTexas.org or by calling 214-345-8248.

Read our other posts about COVID-19:
Cancer & COVID-19
Coping with COVID-19 and Reopening for Cancer Patients
Our Response to COVID-19