Navigating the Payment Maze Webography


Agency for Healthcare Research and Policy

Good Web site regarding choices of health plans that might be right for you.

American Academy of Family Physicians

Cool site from your family doctor. Explains health insurance basics in plain English. Very good overview for folks without a lot of time.

American Cancer Society

Nice overview of financial realities for cancer patients.

American Health Information Management Association

Good information regarding the personal health record and lots of boring information about HIPAA.

America’s Health Insurance Plans

See their Consumer Guides section for lots of good general information about health plans. Remember: This site is sponsored by the plans.

Association of Online Cancer Resources

This site is not for the novice. It is a compilation of articles related to financing cancer. The purpose of the Cancer-Finance online list is to exchange information among those who know the financial perils of illness best. But you might get a little lost, unless you want deep reading.

Be Health Insurance Smart

This is the site to find a policy. It is not informative; it is a commercial site to look for policies.


BenefitsCheckUp can help you find programs for people ages 55 and over that may pay for some of the costs of prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other essential items or services.

Cancer Lynx — Medical Social Workers

Medical social workers help cancer patients with a variety of issues, including any number of health insurance issues.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA)

This is the mecca for consumer information for Medicare and Medicaid patients. It is not always easy to navigate this site, if you are not used to it. See our Medicare pages for more specific details about the site.

Department of Labor Information on Health Plans

Want to know what your rights are under your insurance plan? Want to know more about patient privacy? Go to this site — they are on your side and will tell you everything you need to know.

Health Care Choices — Information for Patients and Purchasers of Health Services

Health Care Choices provides comprehensive information to patients, consumers, employers, and other purchasers of health services on health insurance, physicians, hospitals, breast cancer, and other diseases.

Plain talking from the National Health Law Program, a nonprofit group to help you understand the laws and your rights with health insurance. Excellent site for patients who want to make sure they get anything they deserve under their health plan or if they lose insurance.

Health Insurance Infonet from Georgetown and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

This is a great site for all of the information you need about health insurance. It is also a very good patient advocacy site.

Kaiser Family Foundation

This is a very high-content site regarding all kinds of insurance. Probably not for the beginner, but for someone who is intent about learning how the insurance system works — or not — in the United States.

Medline Resources on Health Insurance

All the latest news and information on any kind of health insurance. This is a comprehensive look at all facts and issues of insured care today.

National Association of Health Underwriters

Do not be misled by the sponsor of this Web site — it is chock full of really good insurance information and even information for the uninsured. This is highly recommended for intermediate consumer readers.

Patient Advocate Foundation

Patient Advocate Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that serves as an active liaison between cancer patients and their insurers, employers, and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job discrimination, and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis through case managers, doctors, and attorneys. They also have a co-payment foundation.

Social Security Administration

This is the official website of the Social Security Administration, with information on retirement, disability, survivors, and supplemental security income benefits. It is very informative (if a bit wordy) about these benefits.

State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Programs (SHIPs)

Think you need help with your plan? Want to apply for assistance? Need an appeal? These folks are out there to help you now — for free! Here are some of their services:

  • Choosing a managed care plan
  • Deciding between original Medicare (fee-for-service) and managed care
  • Understanding your new health plan choices
  • How to understand your Medicare bill
  • How/whether to purchase additional health insurance (Medigap policy, long-term care insurance, etc.)
  • Understanding how to appeal payment denials
  • Understanding your Medicare rights/protections and how to submit a complaint about medical care or treatment.

University of California–San Francisco

The UCSF Cancer Center has put together a nice overview of insurance information for cancer patients.


This content was last reviewed August 15, 2010 by Dr. Reshma L. Mahtani.
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