Many people living with cancer feel overwhelmed with the paperwork and the complex rules about paying for treatments. It’s a good idea tomake an appointment to talk with your medical team’s billing office so you can get answers to these questions. It’s also a good idea to bring a trusted friend or family member with you so they can help note down the answers:
• Will my insurance cover my treatment?
• Does my health insurance company need to approve the treatment plan before I begin treatment?
• Is the treatment facility you are recommending in my insurance plan’s network?
• Howmuch will my out of pocket cost be?
• What if I can’t afford the out of pocket cost? Will I be turned down for treatment?
• Are my medications on my health insurance plan’s preferred drug list?
• What ismy prescription co-pay for each medication?
• Will I be billed separately for laboratory tests, such as blood tests? Are they covered under my health insurance?
• Do you offer any payment plans?
Cancer Services of New Mexico’s free Legal, Insurance, & Paperwork Assistance (LIPA) Program is the best place to get clear answers to these questions. It is the only service like it in the state, providing comprehensive assistance with cancer-related legal, insurance, and paperwork issues.
The LIPA program has three major elements:
• LIPA Clinics— Free clinics are held the first and third Thursday of each month in Albuquerque. Volunteers with expertise in insurance, medical coverage, disability, legal, financial and paperwork issues are available for personal consultations in person or by phone.
• LIPA Referral Program — This provides referrals to a variety of other groups that assist cancer patients and their loved ones with LIPA-related issues.
• LIPA Website (www.nmcancerhelp.org) — This provides links to a wealth of resources to help with legal, insurance and financial issues.
The LIPA program is provided at no cost to New Mexico cancer patients and survivors and their family members and loved ones. For more information, go to www.nmcancerhelp.org or contact Stephanie Michnovicz, Cancer of New Mexico program manager, at 888-668-276