<< View All Contributors

The Affordable Care Act and Cancer

There is no doubt the Affordable Care Act needs tweaking. But let's not lose these critical pieces.
At that time, insurance was insurance to me. Sure, we were paying a huge price for COBRA, but I thought that was the way it was. I had never even filled out an insurance claim until then. When my daughter came six weeks early, I learned how to read that policy and all the things it didn't cover or paid only a certain amount and then we were responsible for the rest. You know those equations they give you that read something like this. This problem is covered 80 percent up to this amount and not to exceed regular and usual costs. And it turned out that the policy covered well-baby needs but not premature baby needs.

So, we charged her on a credit card to get her out of the hospital and I started looking for a good policy. It took a while but I found one that covered 80 percent up to a max of $1,000 and then 100 percent.
And then I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

So we had great coverage – and then six months later, the policy came up for renewal and the cost almost tripled. Ouch.

Luckily, I was getting ready to go back to work at a wonderful university that had a large enough insurance pool that I could find a plan that worked for all of us.

Another aspect of ACA I would like to see us keep for cancer families is the prohibition on lifetime or annual limits, the cap on the benefits you may get from your insurance company. The old insurance policies put a cap on what they paid out, and it stayed the same while the costs of having cancer grew. Even what is considered a good policy when 80 percent is covered, no longer has much appeal when you consider it is not unusual for treatment to cost upwards of $200,000. This means that your part is $40,000, and I don't know about you but I don't have that in my savings account.

According to one study, families with cancer are 2.5 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than those families without cancer. 

Yes, there is no doubt the Affordable Care Act needs tweaking. But let's not lose these critical pieces.

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Insurance CURE discussion group.
Kathy LaTour is a breast cancer survivor, author of The Breast Cancer Companion and co-founder of CURE magazine. While cancer did not take her life, she has given it willingly to educate, empower and enlighten the newly diagnosed and those who care for them.
The Best Cancer Blogs of the Year - 2017
CURE wants to hear from you! We are inviting you to Share Your Story with the readers of CURE. Submit your personal experience with cancer by visiting Share Your Story
Not yet receiving CURE in your mailbox? Sign up to receive CURE Magazine by visiting GetCureNow.com
//For side ad protocol