Report: Cancer patients struggle to pay for care

A new report concludes that cancer patients may face significant challenges in paying for life-saving treatment, even if they have commercial health insurance. 

The report, from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Cancer Society, profiles 20 patients and details the difficulties they have maintaining affordable health insurance and paying for care. It notes that the patients, despite having private health insurance when they were diagnosed, still ended up with large debts, and some ended up skipping or delaying necessary care.

Researchers identified five key gaps in the healthcare system that endanger people with cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.

These include high levels of cost-sharing and caps on benefits; patients who get too sick to work losing employer health insurance; high-risk insurance pools that aren't available to all patients, and often call for premiums patients can't pay; individual coverage that isn't affordable for cancer patients and survivors, and waiting periods, eligibility restrictions or delayed applications for public programs can leave people who are too ill to work without affordable insurance options.

To learn more about the report:
- read this Healthcare Finance News article

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