The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), a national organization representing survivors of all types of cancer, commends the Supreme Court for affirming the constitutionality of the primary provisions of the Affordable Care Act. “Many cancer survivors struggle to get timely, high-quality care that they can afford, and the Affordable Care Act will help them obtain the insurance and the care they need,” said Mike Kappel, NCCS Acting CEO. “We are pleased that the Court has upheld insurance reforms that benefit cancer survivors, the individual mandate that encourages an affordable insurance market, and the subsidies that will assist consumers with insurance purchase.”
With a diagnosis of cancer, patients begin a journey through multi-disciplinary treatment to a period of survivorship that requires monitoring and follow-up care. Cancer treatment often results in late and long-term effects, which means that cancer survivors must have appropriate and timely care in order to enjoy high quality of life. Cancer patients have been adversely affected by pre-existing condition exclusions, lifetime and annual spending caps, and coverage rescissions, and even when they find insurance options they are not affordable. The Affordable Care Act has provided cancer patients a helping hand through a comprehensive package of insurance reforms and financial assistance for insurance purchase.
The health reform law also established programs that have provided insurance to cancer survivors previously considered uninsurable. The beneficiaries of the law include young adult cancer survivors, permitted to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26, and those with a cancer diagnosis who could not afford insurance until the pre-existing condition insurance program was established.
“We at NCCS are committed to working with policy-makers for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” said Ellen Stovall, Senior Health Policy Advisor at NCCS. “We will be pressing for the definition of an essential health benefits package that meets the needs of cancer patients and for steady progress toward health care delivery reforms and improvements in healthcare quality that are encouraged by the health reform law.”