Financial Considerations for CAR T-cell Therapy Patients

CAR T-cell therapy may or may not be fully covered by insurance. In addition to medical expenses, it's important to plan for the many incidental expenses that can arise during treatment and recovery.

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CAR T-cell therapy is expensive. Many commercial health insurance plans pay for CAR T-cell therapy, but some may limit coverage. Others may not cover it at all.

Medicare covers CAR T-cell therapy. Medicaid coverage varies depending on the state in which you live.

Before beginning CAR T-cell therapy, your medical team will contact your insurance provider to determine if it will pay for the treatment.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Although your insurance provider may pre-approve payment for CAR T-cell therapy, some procedures may not be covered. You may also have deductibles and co-pays that add to your out-of-pocket expenses.

Prescription drugs and medical devices may or may not be covered by your plan. You may also need help with other expenses such as food, lodging, travel and utilities while undergoing treatment.

Ask the financial coordinator at your medical center to help you estimate your out-of-pocket expenses for treatment. If you have been assigned a case manager by your insurance company, he or she may be able to help you estimate out-of-pocket expenses as well.

You may be eligible for financial help from BMT InfoNet’s Patient Assistance Fund. Other organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society may also provide financial help.

Some of the pharmaceutical companies that provide CAR T products have assistance programs to help patients with expenses. The social worker at your medical center should also be able to help you find local resources that can help with expenses.

Next: Does CAR T-cell Therapy Cure Cancer?

Updated September, 2023