New York State Senate Votes to Improve Access to Lung Cancer Screening

Cancer survivors and leading public health group urge Assembly to follow Senate’s lead ensuring more New Yorkers can detect and treat lung cancer

June 6, 2024

This afternoon, the New York State Senate passed legislation that would eliminate cost-sharing for lung cancer screenings and follow-up tests. Senate Bill 8553-A received bipartisan support for the proposal impacting all payers in New York, including Medicaid.

Every year, around 14,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with lung cancer, and the five-year lung cancer survival rate in New York is only 32.1%. Fortunately, the ability to detect lung cancer early can have a dramatic effect on survival. For example, in the case of non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common lung cancer, the 5-year survival rate is 65% when found at a localized stage but only 9% when found at a distant stage.

Despite the effectiveness of lung cancer screening, uptake has been low, with only about 6.5% of eligible individuals getting screened. Research shows that required cost-sharing, including co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles, can present a significant barrier to completion of the lung cancer screening process.   

Jackie Nesbitt is a two-time lung cancer survivor and volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). She has navigated high out-of-pocket expenses associated with lung cancer screening. This motivated her to join over 80 other advocates in Albany recently for ACS CAN’s annual Cancer Action Day to advocate for the passage of Senate Bill 8553-A.

“We need to do better in detecting lung cancer in New York. Screening is incredibly effective but very few New Yorkers who are eligible for screening actually receive it. This is often because the cost burden for follow-up care is too high and inhibits people from completing the lifesaving screening process,” said Nesbitt.

Removing cost-sharing for preventive services has proven to increase the use of these lifesaving services. For example, research shows that the Affordable Care Act provisions that remove cost-sharing for preventive services increased utilization of these services.

Michael Davoli, Senior Government Relations Director for ACS CAN in New York, said, “Out-of-pocket costs should not be a deterrent to seeking lifesaving care. These costs undermine the benefit of screening in reducing lung cancer deaths, leaving far too many New Yorkers unscreened and at risk of delaying a diagnosis. That is unacceptable.”

ACS CAN stands alongside the American Lung Association, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and other major cancer centers across the state in calling for the Assembly to swiftly pass Senate Bill 8553-A, as the Senate did.



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting


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