Access to Health Insurance


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

Photo of female Cancer patient with a pink scarf

Tell Congress: Affordable Cancer Care Is Past Due

Ask Congress to help people access affordable health care for millions by extending expanded access to more generous Affordable Care Act tax credits and capping out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs for seniors and others with Medicare Part D

Latest Updates

August 7, 2022

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

July 28, 2022

Congress reached a significant budget deal that includes key provisions that will improve affordability of health care coverage for many cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones.

July 26, 2022

The Health and Human Services Department released a proposed rule Monday expanding nondiscrimination protections for patients using federally funded health programs.

July 11, 2022

A new national poll conducted by a bipartisan team of researchers for ACS CAN found 8 in 10 (81%) voters agree that the government should protect people so that they don’t lose their coverage during high inflation and economic instability.

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.