In response to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and introduction of the healthcare marketplace, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has partnered with the Cancer Support Community and 18 other advocacy groups to create the Cancer Insurance Checklist. This checklist was designed to guide patients in choosing an affordable insurance plan suiting their specific health needs. The list specifically assists patients facing cancer, with a history of cancer or at an increased risk for cancer.
The Cancer Insurance Checklist outlines various factors that cancer patients must take into account when selecting a particular insurance plan. The checklist highlights the importance of recognizing whether or not the costs of services specific to cancer treatment will be covered under a patient’s insurance plan. These services can include therapies that are essential for recovery, such as chemotherapy, prescription medication and radiation therapy; or services that supplement recovery and maintain patient well-being, such as palliative care and fertility preservation. The checklist also requires patients to explicitly note the premium, deducible and co-pay costs associated with a particular plan. Ultimately, recognition of these factors allows patients to easily evaluate the health benefits the plan provides in relation to the plan’s maximum out-of-pocket costs.
With the recent launch of the insurance exchange marketplace, the task of selecting an insurance plan may seem complicated and daunting for many Americans. However, when faced with devastating health news such as a cancer diagnosis, patients should not have to worry about the complexities of choosing an affordable insurance plan. In this light, the Cancer Insurance Checklist is pivotal to reducing patient anxiety while ensuring widespread access to cost-effective healthcare. Consequently, the Prevent Cancer Foundation fully endorses this patient tool and recommends that healthcare providers make these documents available for patient consumption.