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Costs during a clinical trial

Understanding the costs of your health care while in a clinical trial is very important. Research costs are payments owed for services that are only needed for the trial. Research costs are often paid for by the study sponsor. You and your insurance company should not be billed for these costs.

Routine costs are payments owed for services that you would receive whether in a clinical trial or not. Some insurance plans will pay for these costs while others will not. You may live in a state that requires insurance companies to pay for routine costs. Medicare covers payment of routine costs. Some insurance companies will pay for routine costs if:

  • The trial is medically needed,
  • The costs are about the same as standard care,
  • There is no standard care, and
  • The trial is funded by NCI.

Because coverage can vary widely, you should check your insurance plan before joining a clinical trial. You can also talk with the cancer center’s financial counselor or your doctor’s billing staff. Your doctor or the research nurse may also have information.