Medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs

The Canadian Cancer Society identifies four groups of people as being most at-risk of suffering high out-of-pockets costs during cancer treatment: rural residents who must travel for treatments, those not covered with private insurance, those with high drug costs, and those who suffer a significant loss of salary [13].

Travelling for treatment can take a heavy toll on the finances of the patient and their family; in a study of 484 adults presented for cancer care at clinics in Newfoundland and Labrador, 19.5% of rural patients paid more than $1000 in travel-related costs for a single to access cancer care [14]. Factoring in the the cost of meals, accommodation, and other medical care necessary for the patient

Further resources for out-of-pocket costs

Service Canada – Canada pension plan disability benefit – A taxable monthly payment that is available to people who contributed to the CPP and are not able to work regularly at any job because of a disability; the disability benefit does not pay for medications and assistive devices

Service Canada – Employment insurance sick benefits – EI offers up to 15 weeks payment for people who are eligible; this is based on how many weeks have been paid into the plan, and the payments are based on weekly earnings

London health sciences centre – Claiming medical expenses on your income tax returns – Info on what can be claimed as medical expenses on your income tax return, this can include travel costs, drugs and more

Canadian cancer society – Financial help – Depending on the province, the Canadian Cancer Society may be able to provide financial help with costs of travelling and lodging