Federal agency considering proposal that could raise cost of health coverage for cancer patients and survivors

April 13, 2018

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently considering a proposal that could significantly increase the cost of health care for cancer patients and survivors.

The proposal would allow insurance companies to expand the sale of a niche insurance product called short-term health plans.

This type of plan allows insurance companies to:

  • Deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like cancer
  • Cap benefits on coverage
  • Exclude coverage for prescription drugs and hospitalization

Because these plans cover far fewer benefits, they are often less expensive and are more attractive to healthy, young people who may only need minimal coverage. For others, like cancer patients and survivors, who need prescription drug coverage and other health benefits, these plans wouldn’t be an option.

As more healthy people sign up for the short-term plans, the costs for those who need comprehensive coverage – people like cancer survivors and patients - could skyrocket as the insurance companies try to recoup costs of covering sicker, older customers.

The proposal is bad for cancer patients and survivors and would potentially weaken patient protections by limiting cancer patients’ access to affordable health coverage.

Ask your representative or senators to reach out to Secretary Azar of the Department of Health and Human Services and ask him to stop the proposal from moving forward unless concerns from the patient community are addressed.