Financial Hardship for Mesothelioma Patients
Mesothelioma is a deadly disease, but many men and women do outlive their mesothelioma prognosis. They are not technically in remission but beat the odds and eliminated the physical evidence of cancer, a medical term known as “no evidence of disease” (NED). Unfortunately, the battle doesn’t end there. After days, weeks, months, and even years of fighting, many are left with insurmountable debt.
While they may be temporarily out of the woods, the emotions that arise from extreme financial debt may create stress that seems even worse than some of the symptoms of mesothelioma.
Average Cost of Treatment
Between the standard first-line therapy and new, emerging treatments, treating someone’s cancer is more expensive than ever. Doctors and specialists are looking for better treatments with fewer side effects. Unfortunately, many of these new, promising treatments can come at a high price. While insurance helps some, many people can’t afford what isn’t covered, and some may not even have coverage.
The average cost of cancer treatment in 2018 was $150,000. In 2016, the American Cancer Society (ACS) released the results of a 2016 case study that reviewed the cost of one woman’s treatment for stage 4 lung cancer. The final bill totaled $210,000. Her insurance, an individualized plan that cost her $272 per month, covered more than $203,000. Still, with what was left and after a year of coverage, she owed close to $10,000. This doesn’t include palliative care or treatment for complications from cancer, only what was paid to treat her primary condition.
Ten thousand dollars is enough to put anyone in a tough position, but there are cases where a person could be left with an even bigger bill if their mesothelioma returns or if insurance doesn’t cover all treatment costs. For those without insurance, the circumstances are even more dire.
Financial Assistance for Medical Bills
People who are seeking financial assistance with medical bills will often turn to banks and credit cards to help cover the cost or risk burning through their life savings. However, this is only a temporary fix which may make the problem worse when banks come to collect, or there is no money left for emergencies. These financial problems are one of the reasons the court system established asbestos trust funds, an essential form of compensation for mesothelioma patients.
What is an Asbestos Trust Fund?
When personal injury and wrongful death claims first became a regular occurrence, many companies that used asbestos in their products had to file for bankruptcy. Even though the corporations were no longer solvent, they were still held responsible for exposing workers to asbestos. Families and patients whose lives were permanently affected by extreme corporate negligence still needed the money. As a result, manufacturers and corporations that relied on asbestos-laden products had no choice but to file for Chapter 11.
Chapter 11 required those companies to establish asbestos trust funds. While the companies themselves were protected until they could pay off their debt, victims and their families were still able to file claims and receive adequate compensation.
Accessing an Asbestos Trust
Filing a claim and accessing an asbestos trust fund isn’t necessarily difficult, but there are specific requirements that must be met before victims can receive compensation. To navigate this process, and collect as much compensation as possible, it’s essential to choose an experienced mesothelioma attorney. They specialize in mesothelioma claims and can help you build a case that will result in the maximum payment. To connect with a specialist, complete our free case evaluation form.