How to Find Help

Published on: 
CURE, Summer 2007, Volume 6, Issue 4

Health insurance resources for cancer survivors.

Online/published resources:


Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

The institute offers, for no cost, 51 individual, 40-plus page guides on the insurance regulations of every state and the District of Columbia that can be downloaded from its website, The “Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance” contain updated information on the group, individual, high-risk-pool and Medicaid policies of each state.

> The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

The NCCS publishes “What Cancer Survivors Need to Know About Health Insurance,” a 32-page booklet in paper form or online at (search “resources,” then “insurance”). Also available is the Cancer Survival Toolbox, an audio resource on CDs or online at To order either, contact the NCCS toll-free at 877-622-7937.

> The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Consumers Union

have developed “A Consumer Guide to Handling Disputes With Your Employer or Private Health Plan,” a state-by-state look at the appeals process for those in a managed care plan. The guide can be found at

Help from advocates:

> The American Cancer Society

has started a Health Insurance Assistance Service in which trained workers talk callers through health insurance issues at the ACS’s 24/7 hotline, 800-227-2345. The service is being piloted in about half the states.

> The Cancer Legal Resource Center

, part of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, has a toll-free hotline, 866-843-2572, where callers can get information about laws and resources relevant to their health insurance problems. The CLRC has a volunteer panel of attorneys and other professionals to counsel callers and provide more in-depth information.