Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Individuals who are diagnosed with mesothelioma face daunting physical and financial challenges. For someone battling an incurable disease like mesothelioma, the costs of care should be the last thing on their mind.
However, a recent report published in JAMA Network Open found medical bills are a significant problem for many Americans, resulting in debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure. Patients required to make difficult choices about paying medical debt over food and housing may be getting even sicker.
Medical debt is not a problem reserved just for patients with mesothelioma. Financial hardships due to medical bills affect one in five American households. That includes families with middle-class incomes and “good” health insurance. Individuals who cannot pay these costs may sacrifice their quality of care, or refrain from seeking medical treatment at all because of the burden of medical debt.
Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma, however, treatment can help patients live longer. Essential medical care comes at a steep price. The average cost of inpatient treatment for a minor procedure for mesothelioma patients is $13,493. The cost for a major procedure is closer to $30,000.
Many life-prolonging procedures cost even more. The cost of a pleurectomy/ decortication to remove the diseased lining and tissue around the lung is around $53,000. A pneumonectomy to remove a lung is estimated around to cost $62,000.
These procedures do not include the costs of chemotherapy drugs and other medications. This is just a glimpse of the costs associated with cancer treatment. There are also costs for imaging tests, biopsies, clinical trials, and travel and home-care costs.
Even if a patient has health insurance, they must still cover the costs of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, which can be upwards of several thousands of dollars in total.
Unfortunately, because it is often diagnosed later in life once the disease has progressed, the patient may not be able to work to recoup these costs. This only adds to the financial burden facing cancer patients across Pennsylvania and the nation.
People who are diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible to seek compensation from the parties responsible for their asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma claims are a tool to help patients recover costs for economic and noneconomic damages associated with their cancer diagnosis and treatment.
In the United States, several companies responsible for exposing workers to asbestos were required to set up trust funds to provide compensation for those affected by asbestos-related illnesses. Additional financial assistance may also be available through VA benefits and/or government programs.
The best way to determine your options for financial assistance with your medical bills is to schedule a consultation with a mesothelioma lawyer. Financial help may be available.
Someone facing a diagnosis should not have to worry about how they are going to pay their bills. Our Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler help mesothelioma patients explore their legal options for compensation. Call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.