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Healthcare Reform and Its Effects on Cancer Care

Health Insurance Marketplaces

On October 1, 2013, state-based health insurance marketplaces (also known as insurance exchanges) open for enrollment. Created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the exchanges are designed for the uninsured, people who buy their own coverage, and those whose employer-provided coverage is too expensive or lacks needed benefits. 

For people with cancer, a history of cancer, or a risk for cancer, understanding the coverage for cancer-related health services is crucial for making educated decisions based on their healthcare needs and budgets.

The Cancer Insurance Checklist, developed by the Cancer Support Community in partnership with the Association of Community Cancer Centers and 17 other cancer and patient advocacy organizations, is designed to be used while evaluating insurance plans and when discussing them with a navigator or healthcare provider. It offers a checklist, a glossary, and additional resources to help with insurance-related decisions.

Patients and providers can access it at

Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the central component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act agreeing that the requirement for nearly all Americans to secure health insurance is permissible. The vote came down to a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts providing the swing vote for the majority.

ACCC's conference call on the Affordable Care Act is available to members only, and can be accessed here. Log on to ACCC's MyNetwork and click on Advocacy and Policy.

Read our blog about the issue.

Affordable Care Act and Clinical Trials

Section 10103(c) of PPACA added a new provision to the federal Public Health Service Act which imposes requirements on group health plans and health insurance issuers offering individual or group health insurance products to provide for coverage of routine patient costs associated with approved clinical trials.

Coverage for Individuals Participating in Approved Clinical Trials under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) (PDF 13 KB).

ACCC members can view a slide show (61 slides) of major provisions of the new law. You'll need to log into ACCC's MyNetwork. You will also be able to listen to a recording of a conference call about healthcare reform.

Accountable Care Organizations

ACCC Members can listen to the archived conference call of a discussion about the final ACO rule. You'll need to log in to MyNetwork.

On December 3, 2010, ACCC submitted comments to CMS about accountable care organizations.

On June 2, 2011, ACCC submitted comments to CMS about the proposed rule on accountable care organizations.

Here are brief highlights of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

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