Can­cer costs

C.A.R.E. - - Cancer -

Once you have a gen­eral pic­ture of what your treat­ments will cost, you can ask th­ese im­por­tant ques­tions:

1. Will I be able to get short-ter­mor long-term dis­abil­ity pay­ments? If you’re em­ployed, con­tact your hu­man re­sources depart­ment. Oth­er­wise, con­tact the So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion at 800-772-1213, www.SSA.gov

2. What public or pri­vate re­sources will I be able to count on?

See Gen­eral Re­sources on page 40 in this guide for in­for­ma­tion on fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for New Mex­i­cans with can­cer. Also, the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Med­i­caid Ser­vices pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about pa­tient rights, pre­scrip­tion drugs and health in­sur­ance. Con­tact 800-MEDI­CARE, www.medi­care.gov

3. Where can I cut back ex­penses, and what other changes can I make so my money lasts through treat­ment?

Take the time now to set up a re­al­is­tic monthly bud­get, look­ing at all your fixed costs such as hous­ing and car pay­ments, as well as your in­come and per­sonal ex­penses. This will give you a good start­ing point to see the big fi­nan­cial pic­ture.

Keep­ing track

Set­ting aside a fe­whours a week to re­view your bills and fi­nan­cial sta­tus will give you a re­al­is­tic pic­ture of your sit­u­a­tion and help keep stress at bay. If you can do this with the help of a trusted fam­ily mem­ber, friend or coun­selor, it will be a much eas­ier process.

You can work with this sim­ple check­list, and up­date it as time goes on:

• Add up monthly pay­ments to hos­pi­tals, clin­ics, doc­tors, ra­di­ol­o­gists, and oth­ers in­volved in your treat­ment.

• Note how each of th­ese bills is paid— on­line or by mail— and when the bills are due.

• List the con­tact in­for­ma­tion for the billing per­son or depart­ment for each of th­ese bills.

• Write down the last 4 dig­its of your so­cial se­cu­rity num­ber and your birth­date, as th­ese are of­ten re­quired when you con­tact billing de­part­ments.

• Write down the debit or credit card num­ber used for pay­ment, as well as the PIN num­ber that goes along with it. Make sure that a fam­ily mem­ber or trusted friend knows where the debit/credit cards are kept in case they need to ac­cess them when you can­not do so.

• List any public or pri­vate fi­nan­cial help you are get­ting, along with the con­tact names and phone num­bers.

• Fi­nally, re­view your monthly bud­get to see where you are on track and where you need to make ad­just­ments.

Visit health­care.gov/glos­sary/ for a list of help­ful terms

Be as­sured that you can turn to us at First Mort­gage to as­sist with your fi­nan­cial home loan needs.”

AN­NETTE AL­VAREZ, SE­NIOR LOAN OF­FI­CER, FIRST MORT­GAGE COM­PANY

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