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:

ACS CAN, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association released a joint statement providing principles for any entitlement reform proposal.

ACS CAN filed extensive comments expressing deep concern with the proposed Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model and noting that in its proposed form the Part B Drug Model Model failed to protect cancer patients' access to life-saving medications.

On November 10, 2015, ACS CAN hosted the first National Summit on Health Equity in St. Louis, Missouri.

These comments were submitted by ACS CAN to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding changes to the template Summary Plan Document that health insurance plans must provide to consumers.

In a letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), ACS CAN and other organziations provided specific comments to provide greater consumer protections and improvements to  the NAIC's Health Carrier Prescription Drug Benefit Model Act (Formulary Model Act). 

ACS CAN filed comments on the 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, including issues related to Medicare notices, standardized plan option designs, and network adequacy.

ACS CAN filed comments supporting the Internal Revenue Services' proposed clarification requiring plans to provide coverage for physician services and inpatient hospitalization in order to qualify as minimum value coverage.

ACS CAN filed comments on the Medicare CY2016 Physician Fee Schedule, supporting CMS' proposals to establish a separate payment for collaborative care services and provide reimbursement for advanced care planning services.

This paper explores from a cancer patient’s perspective the adequacy of provider networks, the transparency of provider network information for the new qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in the Marketplace and the availability of out-of-network coverage.

Private Health Insurance Resources:

On October 12, 2017, the Administration released an Executive Order (EO) directing the Department of Labor to expand access to Association Health Plans. Proponents claim that encouraging the use of these plans will provide additional insurance options with lower premiums. However, there are serious concerns about how such policy changes would affect cancer patients and survivors and disrupt the state insurance marketplaces.

On September 13, 2017, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

ACS CAN submitted comments on the ACA market stabilization rule.

In 2014 and 2015, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) analyzed coverage of cancer drugs in the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We found that high cost-sharing requirements and shortcomings in the transparency of drug formularies imposed significant barriers that could make it difficult for cancer patients to choose and enroll in the plan best suited to their needs. In this updated analysis, which examines 2017 formulary data in Alabama, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas, we found coverage transparency has improved since 2015. However, significant barriers remain for cancer patients.

Medicare Resources:

In response to CMS’ calendar year 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, ACS CAN filed comments supporting the proposal to expand the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Model as a new Medicare preventive service because many of the interventions included in the DPP will also help bene

In response to CMS’ calendar year 2017 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, ACS CAN filed comments suggesting changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Initiative programs and urged Medicare to develop better survey questions that seek to meas

ACS CAN, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association released a joint statement providing principles for any entitlement reform proposal.

ACS CAN filed comments on the implementation of the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

ACS CAN filed extensive comments expressing deep concern with the proposed Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model and noting that in its proposed form the Part B Drug Model Model failed to protect cancer patients' access to life-saving medications.

ACS CAN filed comments on the Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for calendar year 2017 for Medicare Advantage  capitation rates, Part C and D payment polici

Passing the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act (H.R. 1220 and S. 624) would eliminate unexpected costs, and remove the financial disincentives that prevent people from getting their cancer screening.

ACS CAN provided comments on the proposed rule implementing changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program in which we urged CMS to provide additional beneficiary education and require greater specificity on wasy to improve care coordination for beneficiaries.

ACS CAN provided comments on CMS' initiation of a national coverage analysis for cervical cancer screening with a combination of HPV and cytology (Pap) testing.

Health Care Delivery Resources:

"Surprise billing” is when an insured patient is unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider and is then billed the difference between what the provider charged, and what the insurer paid. Surprise bills can be significantly higher than the consumer’s standard in-network cost-sharing. 

Many patients with complex diseases like cancer find it difficult to afford their treatments – even when they have health insurance.  Current law establishes a limit on what most private insurance plans can require enrollees to pay in out-of-pocket costs.  These limits protect patients from extremely high costs and are essential to any health care system that works for cancer patients and survivors.

 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) helps individuals with limited incomes afford their health care coverage by
providing cost-sharing subsidies (like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) for silver-level plans
purchased on the health insurance marketplaces. Currently, Congress and the administration are
debating whether to continue funding these cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs). If CSR subsidy
funding is discontinued, health care costs could increase for all marketplace enrollees – regardless of
whether the enrollee qualifies for the CSRs.

This report explores the experiences of cancer patients with their health insurance and financial challenges through interviews with hospital-based financial navigators. The report finds that while the Affordable Care Act has brought crucial improvements to patient access to health insurance, cancer patients still face serious challenges affording their care and using their insurance benefits.

Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to apply for waivers to experiment with different ways of providing and paying for health care.  These waivers are often referred to as “Section 1332 waivers,” or “state innovation waivers.”  It is important for the cancer community to fully understand how Section 1332 waivers could impact cancer patients and survivors

Congressional efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have included additional funding in an effort to stabilize state individual insurance markets.  The funding level proposed is inadequate, as discussed in more detail in this backgrounder.

Numerous provisions of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would adversely impact access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for cancer patients and survivors.

On April 25, 2017, the text of an amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to be offered by Representative MacArthur (R-NJ) was released.  The amendment could undo several key protections that are critical for cancer patients and survivors – including the prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions.

As Congress debates enacting changes to the health care market, one concept re-emerging is state high-risk pools to provide health insurance coverage for individuals who otherwise cannot obtain or afford coverage. High risk pools are not a new concept. Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) many states operated some form of high risk pool. During implementation of the ACA, a federal high risk pool was established as an interim step to the new marketplaces. The overall success of high risk pools varied. This fact sheet examines how state risk pools work and the impact on persons with cancer and cancer survivors.

Medicaid Resources:

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstrations projects.

ACS CAN submitted comments on the proposed Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan Managed Care rule.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.

A Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver gives states flexibility to design and improve upon their Medicaid programs through pilot or demonstration projects.