Childhood Cancer

Childhood Leukemia

Miscellaneous Insurance Issues

Loss of insurance coverage can be a nightmare. If you lose your job, change jobs, or move while your child is on treatment, speak to your employer’s benefits manager promptly. You can continue insurance coverage with your previous employer through a Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) plan until you are certain your new insurance coverage is in effect, or you can look for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although using COBRA may impose some financial strain on your family for several months, it will ensure your child’s coverage without interruption.

We just switched to an ACA plan from COBRA, as did a friend of mine with cancer. I am saving $300 per month and she is saving $400. ACA covers preexisting conditions, and you can get a special tax credit that is not available with COBRA if your income level is within certain limits.

Speak to your employer about whether participation in a Section 125 Plan (sometimes called a cafeteria plan, flexible spending account, or health savings account) is an option at your place of employment. These plans generally allow you to have your employer withhold pre-tax dollars from your pay for expenses such as childcare costs and non-reimbursed medical expenses. However, you will need to fill out reimbursement forms and submit them by year’s end, otherwise you might lose the money.


We were blessed that we had great insurance and that both of our employers were wonderful to us. My husband came home from an overseas deployment the day our son was diagnosed. They let him stay stateside to help and told him to do what his family needed. I had to quit my job, but my employer recommended that I use the rest of my FMLA time (I only used some of it when our daughter was born several months earlier) before resigning. That also gave me a paycheck until the end of the year, and I received my yearly bonus before resigning. We’ve been able to live modestly and focus on our kids. We know so many families that struggle financially and even go bankrupt, so we feel very lucky.