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Learning about your health insurance coverage

Some insurance policies do not cover marrow or cord blood transplants. Some insurance policies will cover the transplant, but may not cover all the services that you need before or after the transplant. The financial coordinator at your transplant center will help you plan for expenses not covered by insurance and find other financial resources that may be available.

You may also find it helpful to learn about your insurance coverage and transplant costs on your own. You may want to:

  1. Ask your insurance company to provide you with a copy of your health insurance policy, and any information they can give you about your plan.
  2. You may want to ask a trusted family member or friend to help you so that you can focus on your health. Ask your insurance company what you need to do to have someone speak to them on your behalf. Most likely you will have to give your permission in writing for someone other than yourself to talk to your insurance company.
When talking with your insurance company, remember to:
  • Ask for a specific person from the insurance company to be assigned to you. Many insurance companies assign a case manager to help patients. 
  • Be sure the person you are talking to is authorized to quote coverage information. Ask for his or her name and contact details.
  • Record the date(s) of your conversations. 

Learning about transplant costs not covered by insurance

After you learn about your insurance coverage, you can begin to determine what transplant costs will not be covered by your insurance. These may include tests to find an unrelated donor or cord blood unit, some prescriptions or lodging and transportation. An example of an out of pocket cost would be temporary living arrangements for you and your family to be near the transplant center.

Transplant costs worksheet can help you determine the other out-of-pocket costs related to your transplant procedure. Download or print PDF.

While these costs may seem overwhelming, financial assistance for some transplant costs may also be available.

Elias and his family had to relocate to another state to get his transplant. His young parents’ income was reduced to nothing—but their expenses increased greatly as a result of the transplant. Even though Elias’ transplant was covered by insurance, many transplant-related costs were not. They worked closely with the social worker at the transplant center to learn if they were eligible for any assistance.