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

February 26, 2021
National

The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to pass legislation today that would increase access to health coverage for millions of Americans, including cancer patients and survivors, as part of its pandemic relief package.

February 25, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Fifteen groups representing patients, people with disabilities and health care professionals filed an amicus curiae - or friend of the court - brief today urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect access to health coverage as it considers the validity of work and community

February 16, 2021

e administration sent letters to states late Friday that have approved Medicaid waivers allowing work and community engagement requirements, stating these requirements do not promote the objectives of the program and announcing its intention to review whether to keep them in place.

February 11, 2021
National

The U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider legislation to increase access to health coverage for millions of Americans, including cancer patients and survivors, as part of its pandemic relief package.

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.