Health Team

Financial aid programs help with medical costs

Posted August 8, 2011

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— A cancer diagnosis can be stressful enough without adding the worry of medical expenses.

Rex Hospital reports seeing a 20 percent increase in the number of patients who are under-insured or do not have health insurance. The hospital offers financial aid programs.

Kimberly Fradel, a medical social worker at Rex, said the programs “make sure that not only the medical expenses are taken care of, but the unexpected expenses that come up with the cancer experience are addressed.”

Fradel said the hospital writes off $125,000 a day in charity care. So far, $10 million this year has been given in financial aid for cancer treatments.

“We make a promise to our patients that they're going to get the same quality of health care despite their ability to pay,” Fradel said.

Linda Simmons, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, was relieved to learn about the program. She is the sole money-earner in her household, providing for her husband who is unable to work, and she has no health insurance.

Simmons had her last cancer treatment three months ago, and is cancer-free.

“Between them and the Angel Fund at Rex and the Komen Foundation, all my medical is paid for,” she said.

Simmons wants others to know that there is help out there. “You may not know it, but there is. Please ask,” she said.

Patients should first ask their doctor about financial aid. Doctors can refer patients to a social worker and financial counselor.


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  • smallone0320 Aug 12, 2011

    I had surgery in May, had insurance at the time, but I am now unemployed. I set up a payment plan (very easily) for my portion that my insurance didn't cover. I'm sorry you had trouble prisskat.

  • common tater Aug 11, 2011

    Hospitals gouge the rest of us to pay for those who don't pay. We recently had routine surgery. 36 hrs in the hospital, they billed $30k, then we get seperate bills from the surgeon, anesthesiologist, etc, etc. They come into the room for 5 min with a $5 plastic breathing thing we don't need, and bill $200 plus. The system is ridiculous.

  • Native Kansan Aug 9, 2011

    I'm with you, Christy. I've had a couple of instances where I needed to make payments to Rex, and they asked what I could afford to pay them. They were very understanding and helpful.

  • Christy Aug 9, 2011

    I have never had a problem with Rex setting up a suitable payment plan and I have had more than one.

  • melissaandamy Aug 9, 2011

    I agree with you prisskat. It seems to me that the only people who can get help are people who don't work and try to pay their bills. They never consider that you are still trying to pay bills like utilities, groceries, etc.

  • prisskat Aug 9, 2011

    that is such a joke. IF you ever have to go to Rex for anything they will NOT work w/ you on what you owe. If you don't fit into their "financial program plan" which is a very low range then oh well. If you try to make payment arrangements and say you will pay your total off in 2 years they want it paid in 1 year, if you ask for 1 year they want it in 3 months. They don't work with people that are actaully trying to pay them the over inflated prices they are charging. And this is after your insurance (if you have any)has already paid them like $20,000.00 before your even discharged.....