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

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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 coverage is truly affordable.  

Latest Updates

March 24, 2017

Today the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This bill, in its current form, would significantly alter the accessibility, adequacy and affordability of meaningful health insurance for millions of Americans, including those who have coverage through Medicaid.

March 16, 2017

Patients, doctors and several of the nation’s leading organizations that advocate for better health care for chronic disease patients joined today to express significant concerns about the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which is currently being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives.

March 16, 2017

ACS CAN Wisconsin advocate, Kay Lock, said it so well in her recent letter to the editor, “I am the parent of a cancer survivor, and my plate is pretty full. I worry about reoccurrence. I worry about his future. I worry about what’s to come for all my children.

March 13, 2017

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that under the House-proposed American Health Care Act the number of uninsured will increase by 14 million in 2018, 21 million by 2020 and then 24 million by 2026 relative to current law.

Access to Health Insurance Resources

Reducing the cancer burden depends on access to meaningful health coverage for all Americans. ACS CAN created an infographic to help illustrate the difference between having access to affordable, adequate coverage and facing barriers to care when facing a cancer diagnosis.

wAmericans who want health insurance but do not have access through a group (like an employer or union) or through a government program (like Medicare or Medicaid) must buy insurance in the individual market.  Current law provides tax credits that help certain individuals purchase this insurance.  The House “American Health Care Act” proposal would dramatically change the tax credits available for purchasing individual market insurance.

As Congress debates enacting changes to the health care market, one concept re-emerging is state high-risk pools to provide health insurance coverage for individuals who otherwise cannot obtain or afford coverage. High risk pools are not a new concept. Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) many states operated some form of high risk pool. During implementation of the ACA, a federal high risk pool was established as an interim step to the new marketplaces. The overall success of high risk pools varied. This fact sheet examines how state risk pools work and the impact on persons with cancer and cancer survivors.