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.

Latest Updates

January 4, 2023
Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. – “As lawmakers dive into the 2023 legislative session, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges legislators to prioritize passing legislation to ease the burden of cancer on Wisconsinites. “The legislature should act to support policies to preserve funding and access to BadgerCare for

December 20, 2022
National

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Early this morning Congress released a proposed FY 2023 funding deal that includes an increase of $2.5 billion for biomedical research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $408 million more for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and provides a funding boost to cancer

December 8, 2022
National

WASHINGTON, D.C.—December 8, 2022 —The costs of being diagnosed with cancer last long after the diagnosis and initial treatment putting cancer survivors at increased risk for lifelong financial hardship, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). The report, The Costs of Cancer

November 30, 2022

Washington, D.C.— Patient groups representing millions of people with serious health conditions submitted an amicus brief today urging the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas to preserve the requirement that private health insurers cover U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended preventive services without

Access to Health Insurance Resources

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.

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.