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

April 28, 2021
National

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is urging President Biden and Congress to work together to prioritize access to affordable health care in any forthcoming infrastructure legislation

March 29, 2021
Wyoming

The Wyoming Senate is set to consider House Bill 162 to increase access to Medicaid for an estimated 25,000 low-income, uninsured Wyoming residents. The bill passed the House last week, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, and the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), urge the Senate to follow suit and pass this lifesaving legislation.

March 18, 2021
Wyoming

CHEYENNE—Tonight the House Revenue Committee passed House Bill 162 that could increase access to Medicaid for thousands of low-income, uninsured Wyoming residents. Following is a statement from R.J. Ours, the government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: "Today’s vote is a key step forward for thousands

March 10, 2021
National

Today Congress finished its work passing legislation that will expand access to health care coverage to more Americans, including cancer patients and survivors, who may have lost their insurance due to the ongoing pandemic. The bill now goes to the president to be signed into law.

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.