Ensuring all people receive the care they need.

At Susan G. Komen®, we believe that no person should ever have to choose between putting food on the table or paying for their medicine or necessary medical treatments. We are committed to breaking this cycle for breast cancer patients. Our Treatment Assistant Program, an exciting partnership with Blue Cross NC, is designed to help breast cancer patients here in NC access needed treatment and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

For more information and to apply, please call: 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or email: helpline@komen.org.

What can I expect when I contact the Komen Helpline?

Breast cancer patients contacting the Komen Helpline, that are identified as needing financial assistance, are transferred to an oncology social worker. The social worker conducts a more in-depth assessment to determine what services the patient needs.

Who selects the recipients?

If the patient meets the eligibility criteria for Komen’s Treatment Assistance Fund, they are sent an application via email or U.S. mail depending on her/his preference. The application includes a form to be completed by the patient’s medical provider verifying her/his breast cancer diagnosis, that she/he is in active treatment for breast cancer, and a list of acceptable documentation to verify income.

How are the recipients vetted?

Applications are vetted to confirm the individual’s breast cancer diagnosis and income to determine if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria (see next question for criteria).

Who is eligible to participate?

Funding through this program helps patients of any age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, at any stage of the disease. Financial assistance is granted to patients who meet predetermined eligibility criteria. Individuals must have an active breast cancer diagnosis, be in active treatment and have income at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). Click here to view the 2019 Federal Poverty Guidelines.

For more information and to apply, please call: 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or email: helpline@komen.org.

How are the funds paid out to recipients (vouchers, a check, etc.)?

Awards are provided on a first come first served basis to eligible applicants. Each individual recipient will receive an award packet in the mail which will include a check for treatment assistance.

Why is treatment assistance important?

In recent study, it was found that more than 50% of women delay or avoid care because of cost. They prioritize their families over their health and will instead use their limited financial resources for bills, food, and/or transportation costs. Too many breast cancer patients in North Carolina face decisions like this every day.

What is the cost of care for breast cancer patients?

After an individual is diagnosed with breast cancer, the goal is for them to receive treatment to combat the disease.  They receive orders from doctors to have life-saving procedures and medications to take.  Even with insurance coverage, the out-of-pocket cost for initial treatment can be more than $5,000.00, which is five times more than what the average American has in their savings account (Huddleston).

What about indirect costs?

While treatment and care will be the primary cost associated with breast cancer, there are other indirect costs which can keep a patient from receiving the care they need. The reality is some cannot afford bus fair or a tank of gas to get to their scheduled procedures. Some cannot afford to pay for all the medications or the co-pays to pick them up from the pharmacy. Time lost at work is another burden as those who are undergoing treatment may not be able to continue working and do not have another source of income.

What is financial toxicity?

Financial toxicity describes problems a cancer patient experience related to the out- of-pocket cost of breast cancer treatment and is a major barrier to care.

What is the impact of financial toxicity?

While we have made great strides in treatment, with a 39% decline in breast cancer deaths in the United States between 1989-2015, this rate of progress is diminished by barriers to care such as indirect costs of treatment.  Komen’s Scientific Advisors estimate that up to one-third or more of women dying of breast cancer today could be saved through timely connection to quality care that already exists.

How is Blue Cross NC helping?

Komen’s Treatment Assistance Program offers wrap-around services to low-income families, filling the financial gaps to make treatment accessible – by reducing the chances of treatment being delayed or avoided because of the cost.

With Blue Cross NC’s 2-year investment totaling $300,000 from Blue Cross NC, Susan G. Komen to assist an additional 560 breast cancer patients across North Carolina.

How does this program support Komen’s Bold Goal?

Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. A key way to accomplish this is by filling the financial gaps that are barriers for low-income women and their families throughout the United States. A diagnosis of breast cancer is a devastating event. Making these decisions is difficult in the best of financial circumstances, but it is further complicated for patients at low-income levels.