oday the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on proposed changes to rules governing short-term, limited duration insurance plans (STLD). The comments detail how the proposed rule could divide the individual insurance market and significantly weaken patient protections, leaving cancer patients and survivors with few meaningful or affordable coverage choices.
Administration Decision to Withhold CSR Payments Threatens Access to Affordable Health Insurance
Washington, D.C.— Oct. 13, 2017—The administration announced yesterday evening it will immediately end funding for cost sharing reductions (CSRs) that help low- and middle-income families afford their health coverage. The announcement follows an executive order issued earlier in the day encouraging the creation of association health plans and signaling a change in the rules governing the length and renewability of short-term catastrophic insurance plans.
A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“The administration’s decision to withhold funding to help individuals afford their health coverage will destabilize the individual and small group insurance markets and jeopardize access to affordable health insurance options for many people with cancer and other chronic diseases.
“These CSRs reduce the copays and other out-of-pocket costs that lower-income, working, cancer patients and others pay when they see their doctors and obtain treatment. Without those subsidies, many patients will not be able to afford to get their recommended care and could delay, or worse, forego necessary cancer early detection tests, treatment and follow-up care.
“Instead of taking actions to weaken the health care market, we urge the administration and Congress to return to the bipartisan efforts spearheaded by HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that were focused on strengthening health care coverage and stabilizing the insurance market. The administration’s decision to eliminate funding for the CSRs makes that bipartisan process all the more urgent in order to prevent insurers from exiting the market and leaving patients without affordable coverage options.
“We cannot conquer cancer if patients don’t have access to adequate and affordable health insurance. We urge the President and Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to help Americans gain coverage and access to health care rather than taking it away.”
About ACS CAN
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visitwww.acscan.org.