Access to Health Insurance

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As Congress considers changes to the Affordable Care Act, it is critically important that lawmakers maintain the patient protections that are so important to cancer patients and survivors, and ensure insurance coverage is truly affordable.  

We can never go back to the day when cancer patients couldn’t get health insurance coverage because they exceeded a lifetime limit or are denied coverage just because they survived cancer.  And, we must ensure they don’t experience any gap in their health insurance coverage and that their policies are truly affordable.

A study conducted by the American Cancer Society showed that people who are uninsured or underinsured are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at its more advanced stages when treatment is more expensive and patients are more likely to die from the disease.

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Cancer patient

New Senate coronavirus bill needs critical health provisions

Ask your U.S. Senators to include three critical provisions in the new coronavirus relief bill to support cancer patients and survivors.

Latest Updates

January 8, 2021

The approval of Tennessee’s Medicaid 1115 Research and Demonstration waiver by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today is the latest in a wave of approvals in the last few months of waivers that all weaken the state programs.

December 9, 2020
National

More than a dozen patient groups representing millions of Americans with serious and chronic health conditions are urging the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to preserve protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) patients receiving health care

December 3, 2020

A new bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today aims to improve access to new and innovative cancer screenings among Medicare beneficiaries in order to increase early detection of more cancers for more Americans.

November 16, 2020
National

As millions of seniors and other enrollees select their 2021 Medicare health benefits during annual open enrollment, a new report details just how confusing the program’s appeals process can be should a patient need to appeal a claim denial for health care services or prescription drugs.

Access to Health Insurance Resources

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.

 

High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are becoming more common in employer-sponsored insurance and the individual and small group markets.  These types of plans have risks and features must be implemented carefully so they do not harm cancer patients, survivors or those at risk for cancer.

Short-term limited duration (STLD) insurance plans do not provide the kind of comprehensive insurance coverage cancer patients need.  These plans were designed only as temporary coverage and are not subject to the same Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements as other health insurance products on the market.  As a result, an enrollee who was attracted to the plan’s lower premiums may find – if they are diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer – that the plan does not cover all of their necessary cancer treatments.  In these cases, the consumer can be left with catastrophic costs.