Access to Health Care

ACS CAN advocates for policies that provide access to treatments and services people with cancer need for their care - including those who may be newly diagnosed, in active treatment and cancer survivors.

Access to Health Care Resources:

This analysis examines two issues of particular interest to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and its members: the extent of coverage and cost-sharing for cancer drugs, and whether information on the coverage of cancer drugs can be readily obtained, compared, and understood by patients.

This analysis examines two issues of particular interest to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and its members: the extent of coverage and cost-sharing for cancer drugs, and whether information on the coverage of cancer drugs can be readily obtained, compared, and understood by patients.

This report highlights the severe challenges cancer patient may face in paying for life-saving care even when they have private health insurance.

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Prescription Drug Affordability Resources:

Many cancer patients take multiple drugs as part of their treatment – often for many months or years. While drugs are not the only costly part of cancer treatment, finding ways to reduce these costs for patients and payers will significantly reduce the overall cost burden of cancer.

Many cancer patients have difficulty affording the cost of their prescription drugs, regardless of whether they are insured.  This is especially true for newer drugs that do not have a generic equivalent.  Many programs exist to help patients afford their medication.  This fact sheet focuses on two of these – patient assistance programs and discount coupons.  

ACS CAN joined organizations representing cancer patients, survivors, providers, and caregivers urging the administration to address barriers to access to care and coverage during the public health crisis

ACS CAN joined 50 groups representing, cancer patients, survivors, doctors, nurses, cancer centers, pharmacists and researchers urging Congress to address barriers to patient access to care and coverage.

The Medicare Access for Patients Rx (MAPRx) Coalition raises concerns about proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Medicare Advantage plans

ACS CAN supports legislative and regulatory policies at the state and federal level that prohibit patients from being surprise billed for unexpected out-of-network care.

ACS CAN comments to Secretary Alex Azar on Drug Rebate Proposed Rule

Biological drugs, commonly referred to as biologics, are a class of drugs that are produced using a living system, such as a microorganism, plant cell, or animal cell. Like all drugs, biologics are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For an individual with specific health care needs – like cancer patients and survivors – the drugs covered by a health plan and corresponding cost sharing for each drug is important information when choosing health insurance. However, to make an informed choice, formulary information must be disclosed to the individual.

Private Health Insurance Resources:

ACS CAN submitted comments regarding a proposed rule to change Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans.

ACS CAN submitted comments to CMS regarding Maryland's proposal for a 1332 reinsurance waiver.

ACS CAN submitted comments on July 3, 2018 to CMS regarding Maine's 1332 waiver application to create a reinsurance program.

ACS CAN submitted comments in support of Wisconsin's proposal to create a reinsurance program to lower premiums in the individual insurance market.

On March 6, 2018, ACS CAN filed comments on the proposed rule implementing changes to the Employee Retiree Income Security Act’s (ERISA’s) definition of “employer” for purposes of determining when employers may join together to form an Association Health Plan (AHP).

On April 20, 2018, ACS CAN filed comments on the proposed rule amending the definition of short-term, limited-duration (STLD) insurance for purposes of its exclusion from the definition of individual health insurance coverage.

ACS CAN Comments re: DRAFT 2019 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces

ACS CAN Comments on the 2019 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

ACS CAN comments to Steven Mnuchin and Seema Verma on Iowa's 1332 Waiver

Medicare Resources:

ACS CAN filed comments in response to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation's (CMMI's) request for information on specialty practitioner payment model opportunities.  ACS CAN's comments urged CMMI to pay particular attention to the impact various payment policies would have on a beneficiary's access to care.

In a letter to CMS Administrator Tavenner, ACS CAN joined other organizations urging CMS to reqire Medicare Advantage plans to provide coverage for clinical trials.

ACS CAN filed extensive comments in response to CMS' proposed rule implementing changes to the Medicare Part C and D programs, including opposing proposed changes to the Part D six protected classes.

This analysis examines two issues of particular interest to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and its members: the extent of coverage and cost-sharing for cancer drugs, and whether information on the coverage of cancer drugs can be readily obtained, compared, and understood by patients.

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Costs and Barriers to Care Resources:

ACS CAN comments on 2015 Edition EHR Standards and Certification Criteria Proposed Rule

Despite the fact that US cancer death rates have decreased by 26 percent from 1991 to 2015, not all Americans have benefited equally from the advances in prevention, early detection, and treatments that have helped achieve these lower rates.

Ensuring access to evidenced-based cancer screenings and quality treatment is critical to the fight against colorectal cancer. 

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