Breast Cancer 101 continues with Triage Cancer co-founder Monica Fawzy Bryant, Esq. Download

29:55 Download February 16th

In part 2 of my new series, Breast Cancer 101, Monica Fawzy Bryant, Esq. Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Triage Cancer and Triage Health discusses the financial perils of a cancer or other life-threatening illness. 

Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit organization that provides free education on the legal and practical issues that may impact individuals diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers, through events, materials, and resources.  

Because these all apply to everyone, Triage Health, was established to encourage anybody looking for financial, estate and insurance planning to visit the site for information.  

We talked about the parts of a diagnosis that doesn’t come up in the doctor’s office, employment, insurance coverage and personal finances; all can impact your care.  

Just as you are advised to gather all of your medical information about treatment, doctors and hospitals, you should also collect your insurance policies, job leave policies and income sources.  Make sure that your treatment plan is covered by your insurance, look beyond your doctor and hospital, also consider labs, imaging, infusion sites and other providers.  Are they covered?   

She discussed job protections, noting many want or need to continue working during treatment.  Disclosing a diagnosis is a personal decision, but there are job protections in the Affordable Care Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act for employees at larger companies or at government jobs.     

Ms Bryant also encourages everyone – from age 18 on – to have an estate plan.  It’s a fact of life, she notes, we all will eventually pass.  Having a plan for your healthcare decisions and your estate should be a priority for us all.  Triage offers worksheets and forms for all fifty states to help with the process.  

While planning ahead for a life-threatening or chronic disease is difficult, she advises us to consider total costs when choosing insurance, instead of choosing only by the monthly cost, look for the lowest yearly cost by adding the monthly premiums and the maximum out-of-pocket cost.  While the ACA is not comprehensive, it does prevent you from being denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions so you can shop around at enrollment time.

Triage Cancer’s free educational materials can help you navigate legal and practical issues that arise after a cancer diagnosis like health insurance, finances, disability insurance, work and cancer, estate planning, and more.   Services are free to the public and offered in short videos, checklists and webinars.   

Learn more at TriageCancer.org and TriageHealth.org

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