PURPOSE: Cost of care (CoC) conversations should occur routinely in oncology practice. However, patient preferences about with whom, when, and how to have these conversations are missing and preferences may vary across patient populations. METHODS: We performed a secondary qualitative analysis of quotes from interviews with 28 cancer survivors from two health care settings (Kaiser Permanente Washington and O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of Alabama at Birmingham [UABCCC]). A targeted approach searched for three constructs: (1) Who should have CoC conversations with patients? (2) When should CoC conversations occur? and (3) How should CoC conversations happen? RESULTS: Interviewees were similar in age and education, but UABCCC participants had more racial/ethnic minority representation and financial distress. Within each construct, themes were similar across both groups. As to who should have CoC conversations, we found that (1) providers' main role is medical care, not CoC; and (2) care team staff members are a more appropriate choice to address CoC needs. About the question of when, we found that (3) individuals have strong convictions about when and if they want to discuss CoC; and (4) CoC information and resources need to be available when patients are ready. About the question of how, themes were (5) provide estimates of anticipated out-of-pocket costs and insurance coverage; (6) provide reassurance, sympathy, and concrete solutions; and (7) because of their sensitivity, conduct CoC conversations in a comfortable, private space. CONCLUSION: These findings offer general guidance as to who should conduct CoC conversations and when and how they should occur, with applicability across different patient populations.