Cancer can have direct and indirect financial impacts on the patient and family.
Direct Financial Impacts of Cancer
- Cancer treatment costs not covered by insurance and other out-of-pocket payments can result in significant debt that lasts long after treatment has ended.
- Some insurance companies may not pay for cancer treatments that they consider experimental, such as treatments done as part of a clinical trial.
- Time must be taken off work or employment may have to be fully stopped in order to go for treatment. Therefore, there is less income coming into the household.
Indirect Financial Impacts of Cancer
- Patients who receive treatment outside their hometown or county face additional costs of travel, accommodation, meals and other living expenses.
- Survivors who can no longer work may unfortunately lose health, disability and life insurance benefits provided by their employer.
- Cancer can weaken the immune system and more money will be spent on doctor’s bills because the patient cannot fight off illnesses such as a common cold.
- Childcare expenses will also increase. Parents may not be around as much if they need to get treatment. Because of this children may need to be put into full-day daycare which can be very expensive.
The Department of Social Protection provides a range of financial and other supports to carers to help with the financial burden of caring for a loved one with an illness. More information on these supports can be found on support for carers.
The HSE provides benefits and services to thousands of families and individuals in Ireland, and all of the schemes are provided for in law to make the cost of health and medical care more affordable for all. Find out more about these financial supports.