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1. Options for uninsured, US citizens diagnosed with cancer: 

  • If not eligible for BC3NP MTA the client should apply for Medicaid at the local Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
  • If initially rejected for Medicaid for a reason other than "over income" then carefully review the application and reapply.
  • Contact local hospitals and ask to speak with a social worker or financial counselor to find out if they have any charity care/financial hardship programs.
  • Contact a community health clinic for free or sliding fee services.
  • A final option would be to make payment arrangements with a physician willing to see you on that basis. For medical bills already incurred, the client will need to find out if that facility/provider has a financial assistance program.

2. Options for uninsured non-US citizens diagnosed with cancer:  

The availability of financial support for non US residents is extremely limited depending on their status.

  • Resident aliens who possess a green card may apply for Medicaid 5 years after they have been in the US.  If they apply prior to the 5 year period they will be granted Emergency Services Only (ESO) coverage which covers emergency treatment in and Emergency Room.  No routine health costs are covered.
  • Some clients may find the care they need through clinical trials. Additional information to make an informed decision about the clinical trial may be limited depending on the person's status.  The patient, the family or the physician can inquire about currently recruiting trials and their locations at the following web sites:  (National Institutes of Health),  (National Cancer Institute), or (National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials).
  • Other options include:
  • Contact a community health clinic for free or sliding fee services.
  • Inquire about making payments with a physician willing to see the client on that basis. For medical bills already incurred, the client will need to find out if that facility/provider has a financial assistance program.

A general summary of U.S. immigration terminology follows as defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. (USCIS).

NOTE:  This is not all inclusive.  Questions regarding a client's status should be directed to Venetta Tucker, Quality Analyst for Medicaid and the BC3NP MTA.

An individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.

Legalized Aliens:
Certain illegal aliens who were eligible to apply for temporary resident status under the legalization provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. To be eligible, aliens must have continuously resided in the United States in an unlawful status since January 1, 1982, not be excludable, and have entered the United States either 1) illegally before January 1, 1982, or 2) as temporary visitors before January 1, 1982, with their authorized stay expiring before that date or with the Government's knowledge of their unlawful status before that date. Legalization consists of two stages-temporary and then permanent residency. In order to adjust to permanent status aliens must have had continuous residence in the United States, be admissible as an immigrant, and demonstrate at least a minimal understanding and knowledge of the English language and U.S. history and government.

Lawful Permanent Resident Alien (LPRA):
An alien who has been lawfully afforded the privilege of residing permanently in the U.S.

Permanent Resident Alien:
A person that enters the country with an immigrant visa or adjusts his status after entering as a nonimmigrant, refugee, or asylee. Persons with this status are entitled to live and work in the U.S. and collect entitlement benefits, if qualified

There are two tests for whether someone is classified as a resident alien:

  • The green card test.
    • This applies to someone who has U.S. permanent or conditional residence, or a green card. The person is a citizen of another country, who is authorized to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis (or, in the case of a conditional resident, for two years that may then be continued into a permanent stay). By the very nature of the requirements placed upon permanent residents, they spend most of their time living in the United States. To keep a green card, the person you must not make your primary home in another country, nor remain outside the US for more than one year. (People who plan to remain outside the United States for more than one year can, however, apply for a re-entry permit before leaving, in order to preserve their green card.)
  • The substantial presence test. Even without having a green card, a person who spends 31 days in the United States during the current year and 183 days during a three-year period that includes the current year and the two years immediately before that, is considered a resident alien. This affects many people who are in the U.S. on temporary, otherwise known as nonimmigrant visas. There are various exemptions, such as for time people spent in transit (less than 24 hours in the U.S.), time during which the person couldn't leave because he or she required medical treatment, as well as for teachers and students (on an F, J, M, or Q visa) who haven't stayed in the U.S. beyond a certain period of time.

Non-Resident Alien:
A person spending some time in the U.S., but does not meet (or is exempt from) either the green card or the substantial presence tests. Students and teachers are often classified as non-resident aliens in the early years of their U.S. stay.

Alien Registration Receipt Card: (also known as a "green card")
An INS document that certifies lawful permanent resident status, commonly called the "green card", older versions may be green or blue/white. Newest versions are now rose/off-pink. It carries the INS form number I-151 or I-551.

Undocumented Alien (same as Illegal alien):
An alien who entered the United States illegally without the proper authorization and documents, or who entered the United States legally and has since violated the terms of his or her visa or overstayed the time limit.  An undocumented alien is deportable if apprehended.

An alien who has been lawfully afforded the privilege of residing permanently in the U.S. with the right to eventually obtain citizenship. This status allows authorization for work and entitlement benefits. (See also the definitions for lawful permanent resident alien and permanent resident alien, which are terms used interchangeably with this term).

An alien who has been granted the right to reside temporarily in the United States. Each nonimmigrant is admitted into the U.S. in the nonimmigrant status which corresponds to the type of visa issued.
Aliens in some nonimmigrant statuses are permitted to be employed in the United States, and others are not. Some nonimmigrant statuses have strict time limits for the alien's stay in the U.S., while others do not.
Each nonimmigrant status has rules and guidelines, which must be followed in order for the nonimmigrant to remain "in status." A nonimmigrant who violates one of these rules or guidelines will fall "out of status." A nonimmigrant who remains "out of status" for at least 180 days is deportable and will be unable to re-enter the United States for 3 years. A nonimmigrant who remains "out of status" for at least 365 days is deportable and will be unable to re-enter the United States for 10 years.

A person who leaves his/her country of origin to seek residence in another country.

Any person who is outside his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Persecution, or the fear thereof, must be based on the alien's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Refugees are subject to ceilings by geographic area set annually by the President in consultation with Congress and are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States.

U.S. National:
An individual who owes his sole allegiance to the United States, including all U.S. citizens, and including some individuals who are not U.S. citizens. For tax purposes the term "U.S. national" refers to individuals who were born in American Samoa or were born in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands who have chosen to be U.S. nationals instead of U.S. citizens.

U.S. Citizen:
1.  An individual born in the United States.
2.  An individual whose parent is a U.S. citizen.
3.  A former alien who has been naturalized as a U.S. citizen
4.  An individual born in Puerto Rico
5.  An individual born in Guam
6.  An individual born in the U.S. Virgin Islands


Financial Assistance Organization Contact Information Descripation

Steps for applying:
Call 800-813-HOPE (4673) and speak with a CancerCare social worker to complete a brief interview.

Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (ET) Monday through Thursday,
and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) on Friday.

Financial Assistance Program: offers limited financial assistance for cancer-related costs (I.e. transportation, child care, etc. Oncology social workers can assist in finding resources.

Pain and anti-nausea medication, oral hormonal medication, lymphedema supplies and durable medical equipment available for those with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Clients eligible for financial assistance must:

  • have a diagnosis of cancer confirmed by an oncology health care provider
  • be in active treatment for cancer
  • live in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
  • meet CancerCare eligibility guidelines based on the Federal Poverty Limit
Avon Cares for Women The Avon Foundation for Women provides limited financial assistance to underserved women for homecare, child care and transportation.
CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation

866-552-6729 (866-55-COPAY)

Assists cancer patients with co-payments for chemotherapy and targeted treatment drugs.
Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC)

CFAC is a coalition of financial assistance organizations joining forces to help cancer patients experience better health and well-being by limiting financial challenges, through:

  • Educating patients and providers about existing resources and linking to other organizations that can disseminate information about the collective resources of the member organizations;
  • Advocating on behalf of cancer patients who continue to bear financial burdens associated with the costs of cancer treatment and care.
Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief Program

866-512-3861 option 1


Provides direct financial assistance to insured patients who meet certain qualifications to help them pay for the prescriptions and/or treatments they need. This assistance helps patients afford the out-of-pocket costs for these items that their insurance companies require.
Patient Advocate Foundation: Financial Aid Fund Division

An independent division of Patient Advocate Foundation that provides small grants to patients who meet financial and medical criteria. Grants are provided on first-come first served basis and are distributed until funds are depleted

Metastatic Breast Cancer Financial Aid Fund
Patients diagnosed with Stage III or Stage IV Breast Cancer
Supporting Stage III and Stage IV breast cancer patients, this financial fund provides a $600 grant specifically to cover various non-medical related expenses connected to treatment, including transportation assistance, food, utilities, housing expenses or pre-burial expenses. Each patient must meet income guidelines and provide documentation of current active treatment or treatment within the last 6 months in order to finalize the application

Linking A.R.M.S. Program 800-813-4673
CancerCare has partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to create the Linking A.R.M.S. program for underserved low-income women with breast cancer. Program provides limited financial assistance for hormonal and oral chemotherapy, pain and anti-nausea medication, lymphedema supplies, and prostheses for women with breast cancer. A reimbursement grant is available and the amount of the grant is subject to availability. 
Sisters Network® Inc. - A National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization
African-American breast cancer survivorship organization. Promotes the importance of breast health through empowerment, support, breast education programs, resources, information and research. Provides financial assistance for mammograms, co-pay, office visits, prescriptions, medical-related lodging and prosthesis.
Triple Step Toward the Cure Seeks to promote awareness and education for the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of triple negative breast cancer and to provide support, both emotional and financial, to affected individuals and their families. Provides assistance with: meal delivery, emergency funds for rent, groceries, and utilities, transportation related to treatment, housekeeping services, childcare, selected co-pay assistance, prosthetics and wigs.
The Catherine H. Tuck Foundation Provides financial aid grants for basic necessities of life to women and men who are in active treatment for breast cancer and struggling financially as a direct result of the diagnosis and treatment. They assist with non-medical expenses for things such as rent, utilities, transportation for treatment, child care during treatment and food.
The Pink Fund
Provides short-term financial aid to patients who are in treatment for breast cancer. The aid covers both medical and non-medical related expenses, including health insurance premiums, prescriptions, house or rent payments, car insurance payments, and utility payments. Applicants must be employed, in active treatment and experiencing a loss or reduction in income as a result. Payments are made directly to creditors.
Fifth Season
FLAG program (Funds for Living and Giving) - financial assistance program for clients who have life insurance.  Program advances funds based on the face value of the client's life insurance policy which keeping the insurance policy in place.
Susan G. Komen Financial Assistance Treatment Fund

To learn more about this program and other helpful resources, call the
Komen Breast Care Helpline at 877 GO KOMEN (877-465-6636).
Susan G. Komen® partners with CancerCare® to offer the Komen Treatment Assistance Fund which bridges the gap for underserved individuals who are actively undergoing breast cancer treatment. 
Provides the following to low-income, underinsured or uninsured women across the country: an assessment by an oncology social worker, limited financial assistance, breast cancer education, psychosocial support and information about local resources.
Funding helps women of any age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, at any stage of the disease. Financial assistance is granted to women who meet pre-determined eligibility criteria.
Hill Burton Funds 800-638-0742 Program by which hospitals that receive construction funds from the federal government are required by law to provide some services to people who cannot afford to pay for their hospitalization. Information about the facilities including this program is available by calling 800-638-0742.
Hill Burton funds begin at start of calendar year.
Non US Citizen Health Insurance - Illness and injury coverage Non US citizen health insurance plans cover doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, prescriptions for sicknesses and injuries. Coverage can begin the next day with no medical tests required. Most non US citizen health insurance plans do not cover pre- existing conditions and preventive care. Some offer limited coverage for pre-existing conditions. Plans offer coverage through Preferred Provider Network of hospitals and doctors. Direct cashless settlement of bills are possible.
Visitor Insurance services
Global Health Insurance, also called International Medical Insurance, International Health Insurance, are long term major medical insurance plans that offer comprehensive world-wide coverage (all countries including USA) are available to all nationalities and are designed to offer international coverage (USA and foreign countries) for global residents / travelers (H1, H4, Green Card holders, international citizens, expatriates, missionaries, etc.), international sailors and foreign cruisers. Global Health Insurance plans offer comprehensive medical benefits including maternity coverage, mental health coverage, wellness (preventive check-ups) and medical evacuation. These plans are typically long term plans and do not have a limit on the maximum plan life.
Immigration Health
Immigration Health provides different health  insurance plans for non-US citizens
US Net Care Health Plans
800 244-1180
Medical insurance for non-US Citizens in America that covers medical needs in the case of injury or illness
Visitors Coverage
Medical insurance for Green Card or New Immigrants to the US Choose from a variety of new immigrant insurance plans and green card health insurance plans suitable for individuals, senior citizens, parents & immigrants families who do not qualify for private or domestic US health insurance.