Living with Breast Cancer: Access the Health Insurance You Deserve

Anne-FilipicThe open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace began last month and goes until February 15, 2015. In this guest post, Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America, blogs about the changes in health insurance in the last few years and how they impact women affected by breast cancer. 


Until recently, pre-existing conditions have kept many women from getting the health insurance necessary to diagnose and treat their illness. So, at a time when they needed health insurance to help save their lives, many were left facing the full cost of hefty medical bills on their own. With hundreds of thousands of dollars in doctor visits, tests, medication, and more, it’s a cost that many couldn’t afford.

As a cancer survivor, you may have been turned down or charged more for health insurance in the past. But now, that is no longer an issue. Having a pre-existing condition can no longer prevent you from getting quality, affordable coverage. And you can’t be charged more for health insurance because of your medical history. This is true even if you’ve previously been turned down or charged more for coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

Now, hundreds of thousands of women who are fighting breast cancer have access to the life-saving medical care they need. In addition, preventive care for key services is now free, such as breast cancer genetic test counseling (BRCA) for women at higher risk for breast cancer, mammograms every one to two years for women over age 40, and breast cancer chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk. 

Cancer-survivor Reinette in North Carolina signed up for coverage last year when she discovered her pre-existing condition no longer kept her from getting coverage. She made an appointment with in-person application help who helped her sign up for a Silver plan. With the financial help she received, her monthly cost is more affordable than ever!

Many women still don’t have health insurance and they’re unaware that they have new coverage options – even with a pre-existing condition. And now, many people, like Reinette, can get help paying for their health insurance. Get Covered America is working to raise awareness and engage people about their new affordable health insurance options. To find local application help, learn about different plans types, or see what financial help you could qualify for, visit our website at


Anne Filipic serves as President of Enroll America, a non-profit organization dedicated to maximizing the number of Americans who enroll in and retain health coverage made available through the Affordable Care Act. Most recently, Ms. Filipic was the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Previously, she served as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Looking for additional information to make health insurance decisions or pay for breast cancer care? Here are some of other resources to consider:

The Guide to Understanding Financial Concerns

November 2014 Ask the Expert: The Affordable Care Act and You

Cancer Insurance Checklist

#LBBCchat: Coping with the Financial Impact of Breast Cancer

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