HEALTH CARE UPDATES
The American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) have produced a new, consumer-friendly guide that describes how provisions of the Affordable Care Act help people with cancer and their families.
Featuring the stories of three people who have battled cancer or lost a loved one to the disease, the guide describes how provisions of the law improve the quality of care and make health care more affordable, available and easier for patients to understand.
The guide is part of ongoing efforts to educate the public about the law and its benefits for cancer patients, survivors and their families. The law, while not perfect, will meaningfully improve the health care system for people with cancer and save lives.
Strong protections for cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones take affect today, six months after the signing of the Affordable Care Act into law. These critical provisions are helping to transform our current ‘sick care’ system into one that focuses on people getting and staying well. Here are the changes you will see:
- No lifetime dollar caps on coverage
- Tightly restricted annual dollar limits on coverage
- In all new plans, preventive coverage is guaranteed and individuals will see no out-of-pocket costs for proven preventive services such as screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer
- Health plans can no longer drop patients from coverage when they get sick
- Dependent children can remain on their parent’s insurance policy until age 26
- Children up to age 19 with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, cannot be denied coverage
We’re working hard at ACS CAN to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented as strongly as possible for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. For more information, please read “How the Affordable Care Act is Helping People with Cancer”
How will your family benefit from these patient protections?
The media is buzzing today with stories about the six-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and how consumers, insurers and lawmakers are reacting. But, as key provisions that will directly benefit cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones start to take effect today, the best evidence of the effects of this law are through the direct accounts of those who are already seeing barriers to care torn down.. Read the story of the Brainards, a husband and wife from Palestine, West Virginia, who thought a looming limit on their lifetime benefit coverage would prohibit husband Carl from getting the care he needed for his cancer diagnosis. In their own words, they describe their relief to find out the Affordable Care Act won’t make them choose between Carl’s life and their lifesavings.
The Kaiser Family Foundation boils down the new health law in an easy-to-understand cartoon video. The 9-minute spot explains the problems with the current health care system, the changes that are happening now, and the big changes coming in the future.
I was so excited and honored to be included in the event yesterday at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. to highlight the aspects of the Affordable Care Act that will improve access to prevention services. On a personal level, to be able to meet First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden was a thrill. The few moments they spoke with my husband Kevin and me will be cherished memories. I was so impressed with their warmth and graciousness.
As a cancer survivor, I felt privileged to be present as the Affordable Care Act regulations related to prevention and screening were promoted by HHS Secretary Sebelius, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden. I know first-hand what a difference regular cancer screenings make in finding cancer when it is relatively early and easier to treat effectively. I applaud the provisions that remove barriers to cancer screenings and other preventive services.