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

September 23, 2022
National

Twelve groups representing millions of patients across the nation will file an amicus curiae - or friend of the court - brief today urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect access to quality health care for individuals with Medicaid health coverage.

September 14, 2022
South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, SD —South Dakota voters strongly support Amendment D and expanding Medicaid, and an overwhelming majority want the legislature to act quickly to implement expansion if it passes, according to a new statewide poll. The poll, conducted by Glen Bolger, one of the Republican party’s leading pollsters, for the

September 7, 2022
National

Today U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor issued a ruling that may lead Affordable Care Act-compliant health plans to deny coverage for or reinstate cost-sharing for certain preventive health services.

August 12, 2022
National

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes several provisions that will reduce the costs of health care for millions of cancer patients and survivors.

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.