The Painful Out-of-Pocket Medicare Costs for Treating Cancer

The Stress of receiving care for cancer is made even worse for many Medicare beneficiaries because of high out of pocket costs.

 Many patients freely admit that that the only thing more frightening than learning that they have cancer is seeing how much it will cost to undergo treatment.

A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that while there is a broad range of public and private health insurance that defrays medical and drug costs, huge out-of-pocket costs can be devastating to patients and force a major change in their lives.

This is especially true for many elderly and disabled Americans on Medicare, who are required to pay annual out-of-pocket costs ranging from $2,116 to $8,115 – and that’s above and beyond what they pay in premiums for health insurance, according to the new survey.

Cancer is by far the costliest disease to treat, according to the researchers, especially in light of breakthrough or experimental treatments such as immunotherapy. At the same time, much of the out-of-pocket costs stem from what the researchers view as excessive hospitalization for treatment.

– The Fiscal Times

Read the full article here.