Category Archives: Health Insurance

Breast Cancer’s Financial Toll

A new survey finds that younger women often encounter financial problems, including bankruptcy. The survey was made among applicants to The Pink Fund, a metro Detroit non-profit that gives as much as $3,000 to men and women in breast cancer treatment.

State Insurance Requirements Vary for Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

Federal law requires health insurance plans to pay for breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Still, many states and plans (so-called ERISA plans) are exempt. Here’s a good summary, state by state, with links, to what each state requires, and another link to The Pink Fund, which helps women pay non-medical bills for up to $3,000 total over three months while they are in treatment.…/breast-reconstruction-laws…

Financial Help During Breast Cancer Treatment

Contestants line up for "FOX's Next Empire Artist" gold bus to record a song from the show at Campus Martius Park in Detroit , Tuesday, August 4, 2015. The winner will appear as an "Empire" artist during season two.
Molly MacDonald, founder of The Pink Fund, keeps a hectic schedule and works out swimming to balance her life and stay fit. Photo by Kathleen Galligan, “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You” (Rowman & Littlefield).

Molly MacDonald founded The Pink Fund, a metro Detroit non-profit, after experiencing severe financial problems during her breast cancer story.   It provides up to $3,000 for non-medical bills for women during breast cancer treatment. For details and an application:

Other Help:

Patient Advocate Organization:

Komen list

20 Million Americans Have No Health Insurance; Helpful Resources

Contestants line up for "FOX's Next Empire Artist" gold bus to record a song from the show at Campus Martius Park in Detroit , Tuesday, August 4, 2015. The winner will appear as an "Empire" artist during season two.
Breast cancer survivor Molly MacDonald, executive director of The Pink Fund, stays fit with exercise, including swimming. Photo by Kathleen Gallgian

With 20 million Americans still uninsured, programs like The Pink Fund,, and the federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program,, available in every state, and which pays for screening mammograms for women ages 40-64 and for Pap smears for a larger group of women, remain so vital. The Pink Fund will pay as much as $3,000 towards non-medical expenses of women currently in treatment. These programs are vital to the groups without insurance detailed here: Hispanics, Southerners, Millennials, and of course, the near-poor.

SavorettiWe tell more about this issue in “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,” with stories about Molly MacDonald, executive director of the Pink Fund, and Alisa Savoretti, founder of My Hope Chest, a Tampa non-profit that finds plastic reconstructive surgeons willing to operate at reduced rates for uninsured and under-insured women.

Alisa Savoretti, founder, My Hope Chest; supplied photo.

#breastcancer #breastreconstruction #womenshealth

There are still about 24 million American adults without coverage, according to a survey by a health research group.

How Race, Culture Affects Breast Cancer Surgery, Reconstruction Decisions

Cheryl Perkins
Cheryl Perkins

Recently, studies have shown that African American women prefer autologous breast reconstruction with their own tissue over implant breast reconstruction. Many, including Cheryl Perkins, a Detroit neonatal nurse, choose double mastectomy over lumpectomy when diagnosed with more aggressive triple-negative breast cancer.

HiamLess is known about other cultures but the reporting we did in the large Arab community in metro Detroit found strong preferences towards lumpectomy, at least as a first choice.  “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,” offers a rare look at this issue among Arab women and showcases model programs in Dearborn, MI that encourage screening mammography and navigation help to ensure women have mammograms and followup biopsies, when needed, and that stick with women throughout a cancer diagnosis through treatment. These programs also provide a look at some exceptional translation services at Oakwood Hospital, part of the Beaumont Health System, and ACCESS, where breast cancer survivors Hiam Hamade and Ghada Aziz help women throughout cancer screening and treatment. Because of their work, more women are getting mammograms and are returning for biopsies and other advice.

We will explore the impact of race, culture and money on breast cancer surgery and reconstruction decisions in a panel discussion Sept. 29, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit.


Insurance Influences Surgery, Reconstruction Choices, Study Says

Insurance may highly influence a woman’s access to breast reconstruction and certainly affects her choice of doctors. We look at issues about how money and insurance affect breast cancer surgery choices in “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You.

Check Your Insurance Costs before Surgery, Study Suggests

Even with ‪#‎health‬ insurance, many Americans spend more than $1,000 for hospital stays, this #‎University‬of ‪#‎Michigan‬ study warns. Consumers should look for hidden co-insurance costs. If you are planning #breastcancer or #breastreconstruction surgery, ask your doctor’s office or health plan to tell you if you have any anticipated costs associated with your hospital stay.

Here’s my writeup on a new study that tries to crack open the ‘black box’ of what people with ‘good’ insurance actually pay out of their own pockets when they’re…