Unveiling the Cancer Insurance Checklist!

As we find ourselves just a few days away from the opening of states’ Health Insurance Marketplaces/Exchanges established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Living Beyond Breast Cancer is pleased to announce the launch of the Cancer Insurance Checklist, a resource developed in partnership with 18 other cancer and healthcare advocacy organizations, with the generous financial support of Novartis Oncology. 

Cancer Insurance Checklist_Banner Ad_FINAL

An estimated 7 million uninsured or underinsured people will be using the Health Insurance Marketplaces/Exchanges  to obtain health insurance coverage in 2014. Knowing this, Living Beyond Breast Cancer is pleased to present the Cancer Insurance Checklist , a tool designed with several partner organizations specifically to help those with a history of, at risk of developing, or presently diagnosed with cancer find the insurance plan within their budget that best meets their healthcare coverage needs.

The vision for the Checklist came about after Matthew Farber, MA, director of provider economics and public policy at the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), gave a presentation on the impact of the ACA’s policy changes on those being treated for cancer at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual meeting in June of this year. Michelle Bielko—our editor and manager, publications—represented us as a member of the inter-agency work group tasked with developing the Checklist (Thank you, Michelle!), which was chaired by Michelle Johnston-Fleece, MPH, director of state initiatives for the Policy Institute of the Cancer Support Community.

If you are among those Americans who will be shopping for insurance this Fall, when you log onto your state’s Marketplace or Exchange for the first time you may have many questions. Rest assured, you will have access to trained navigators to help you get your bearings. Our tool is created to help make the process of finding the right health insurance plan as easy as possible for you and may be used when discussing your healthcare and coverage needs with a navigator or healthcare provider.

What exactly is the Cancer Insurance Checklist? It is a four-page resource that helps guide you in your review of the coverage within each insurance plan under consideration by you, including coverage of cancer-related specialists, medicines, therapies, counseling sessions, medical equipment, testing and procedures that you may need. A worksheet is available to help you jot down the costs associated with each plan, so you can compare co-pays, co-insurance, premiums, and deductibles. Once completed, the Checklists serve as a convenient visual comparison of each plan, allowing you to hone in on the one that offers the best coverage of your care needs at a price that is affordable for you.

As we’ve addressed in our programming  and in a breast cancer news story on lbbc.org, the financial burden of treating breast cancer can be considerable. Our hope is that the Checklist will help you streamline the process of finding the health coverage that you need if you will be shopping on your state’s Marketplace or Exchange in the weeks ahead.

“The Marketplace, along with other policy changes, allows even those with pre-existing conditions like breast cancer access to healthcare coverage,” Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, LBBC’s chief executive officer, says. “Our Cancer Insurance Checklist is another way to broaden that access.”

Marketplace open enrollment runs from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Download the checklist for free today at CancerInsuranceChecklist.org !

To learn more about the ACA healthcare changes, visit:

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s “The Youtoons get ready for Obamacare”:

(In English) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZkk6ueZt-U

(In Spanish)  http://www.kff.org/health-reform/video/los-youtoons-se-preparan-para-obamacare/

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Subsidy Calculator

AARP Health Law Answers

The Cancer Insurance Checklist was created through a partnership of the following organizations: The Assistance Fund, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Avalere Health, Cancer Support Community, Chronic Disease Fund, Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation, International Myeloma Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation, Men’s Health Network, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Oncology Nursing Society, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Patient Advocate Foundation, Patient Services, Inc. and Prevent Cancer Foundation. Production costs for the Cancer Insurance Checklist were supported by a grant from Novartis Oncology.

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