Access to Health Insurance

Share

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.

Take Action

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

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.

November 9, 2020
National

Twenty patient groups representing millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to prioritize patient protections, including those for people with pre-existing conditions, when it hears oral arguments Tuesday in the case of California v. Texas ( previously Texas v. United States).

October 22, 2020
National

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) today released a report detailing the costs of treating cancer, specifically out-of-pocket costs typical cancer patients face. The report found U.S. cancer patients in 2018 spent $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket costs for cancer treatment

Cancer Candor Blog
October 22, 2020

The true costs of cancer are heavy, they are deep, and they are ultimately unaffordable for many, a challenge further exacerbated by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic and spotlighted by the upcoming Supreme Court case challenging the Affordable Care Act.

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.