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Colon and Rectal Cancer

Financial and Employment Resources

The following excerpt is taken from Appendix A of Colon & Rectal Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients & Families by Lorraine Johnston, copyright 2000 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. For book orders/information, call (800) 998-9938. Permission is granted to print and distribute this excerpt for noncommercial use as long as the above source is included. The information in this article is meant to educate and should not be used as an alternative for professional medical care.

Beyond the physical aspects of cancer lie its effects on our careers and finances. The following resources can offer guidance and aid.

Organizations that help with financial and legal issues

The Center for Medical Consumers
237 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 674-7105

Provides information referrals to other organizations and maintains a medical consumer's library.

Consumer Credit Counseling
Phone: (800) 388-2227

Provides help getting expenses under control.

The Federal Trade Commission
Phone: (202) 326-3650

Provides information about the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, a landmark series of laws passed in 1968 to protect debtors.

Health Care Cost Hotline
Phone: (900) 225-2500

Can furnish the median fee and range of fees charged by doctors for various services and procedures. The call is $2.00 to $4.00 per minute.

Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA)
555 13th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 824-1600

Has more than 250 members consisting of insurers and managed care companies. HIAA can supply booklets on disability income, health insurance, long-term care, medical savings accounts, and general insurance information, including a directory of state insurance departments.

Lexis Law Publishing
Phone: (800) 542-0957

This group can send you a copy of any law.

The Medical Information Bureau (MIB)
P.O. Box 105, Essex Station
Boston, MA 02112
Phone: (617) 424-3660

Records all entries made by insurance companies about your health, and will send a copy of this information to your physician if you request it. If you find an error in these files, you can contact the Bureau for the procedures necessary to correct errors. Magazines for legal and financial issues

Health Pages
Phone: (212) 929-6131

Medical Economics
Phone: (201) 945-9058

Both report on ranges and norms of doctors' fees.

Social Security Administration bulletins

The chief resource in this category is the 1997 Social Security Handbook, 13th edition: handbook/ssa-hbk.htm.

Other, more specific SSA bulletins include:

Social Security: "What You Need to Know When You Get Disability Benefits" (6/96; Pub. No. 05-10153).

"Social Security Disability Programs" (5/96; Pub. No. 05-10057).

"A Guide to Social Security and SSI Disability Benefits for People with HIV Infection" (6/95; Pub. No. 05-10020).

"How We Decide If You Are Still Disabled" (4/96; Pub. No. 05-10053).

"How Social Security Can Help with Vocational Rehabilitation" (9/94; Pub. No. 05-10050).

"Working While Disabled…How We Can Help" (1/96; Pub. No. 05-10095).

"Red Book on Work Incentives for People with Disabilities" (8/95; Pub. No. 64-030).

Free treatment resources

The National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD
Phone: (800) 4-CANCER

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Phone: (901) 495-3300

Free travel and lodging for care.

Air Care Alliance
Phone: (757) 318-9145 or (888) 662-6794

Helps cancer patients travel to distant health centers for care.

American Cancer Society (ACS)

Sponsors Hope Lodges, which provide free lodging for those who travel to receive cancer care.

The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
Phone: (800) 366-CCCF (United States) or
(800) 363-1062 (Canada)

Can help you make travel arrangements.

Corporate Angel Network
Phone: (914) 328-1313

Helps cancer patients travel to distant health centers for care.

Mercy Medical Airlift
Phone: (800) 296-1191

Helps cancer patients travel to distant health centers for care.

National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses (NAHHH)
Phone: (301) 961-3094, (317) 883-2226, or (800) 542-9730

Can recommend nearby hotels with reduced rates for cancer patients.

The National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, MD
Phone: (800) 4-CANCER

In some cases, will help pay for the travel and lodging expenses of those being treated at NCI.

Ronald McDonald House Coordinator
c/o McDonalds Corporation
Phone: (630) 623-7048

Provides free lodging for children who are being treated for cancer.

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