Things People With Cancer Should Know About Health Insurance

To a person who isn't an insurance industry insider, the ins and outs of health insurance can be confusing. Throw a diagnosis of a chronic condition like cancer into the mix and the confusion can easily turn into frustration. The good news is that with the right resources and knowledge, it doesn't have to be. 


What Type of Coverage Do You Have and What Does It Cover?

close up of man's wrist wearing a bracelet that says kick cancer

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Do you know what type of insurance plan you are covered under? Is it an HMO, PPO, or POS? Knowing what kind of plan you are under and what that entails is one of the most important things to know when you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, like cancer. Knowing about your health insurance plan is the first step to becoming a responsible, ​empowered patient. Understanding managed care plans like HMOs and PPOs, which most Americans have, is the first step in knowing the details of your personal plan.


There Is Help for the Uninsured

Cancer doesn't discriminate—it affects the uninsured just as often as the insured. Unfortunately, our insurance status greatly dictates what type of treatments we receive. Without insurance, this could mean no treatment. If you have cancer and don't have health insurance, there is hope.


What to Do If Your Insurance Doesn't Cover a Test or Procedure

If you have been told that your insurance will not cover a specific test or procedure, wait before you reach your hand into your pocket. Out of pocket expenses for tests and procedures can be costly. Many people don't realize that there are many things you can do as an alternative to paying out of pocket.


What If Your Claim Is Denied?

Finding out that your insurance claim has been denied can be emotionally and financially devastating. We invest a lot of hope and confidence into our health insurance providers, and when our claims are denied, the blow can certainly damage the patient-provider relationship. The good news is that the denial is not a case of "end-all, be-all"—you can fight the decision. You would be surprised how many denials are reversed.


The Affordable Care Act Eliminated the Pre-Existing Condition Club

Even if you are opposed to "Obamacare," you can cheer that it eliminated insurance discrimination for people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer. Insurance companies in the United States could not refuse coverage or impose increased premiums on people with pre-existing conditions as of 2014.


Is Supplemental Health Insurance Right for You?

Advertisements for supplemental insurance make us think it's a good idea. A plan that would pay for the services and treatments that your primary plan won't cover? Sounds too good to be true and for some people it is.


Know About Your State's Health Insurance Exchange

High-risk pools were groups of people who could not obtain adequate, affordable insurance because of pre-existing conditions. With the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, these pools were generally replaced with health insurance exchanges as discrimination is no longer allowed for pre-existing conditions.


How to Avoid Errors on Your Explanation of Benefits

It's always relieving to know that your insurance company has paid a claim. Sometimes we become so elated that we toss our Explanation of Benefits statement in the trash. Think all you need to know is that the claim was paid? Think again. You can be robbed of your benefits because of errors in billing that were paid.


Government Programs Can Help Save You Money on Prescription Drugs

Did you know that there are government programs that can help you pay for your prescription drugs, even if you have a pharmacy plan? If your drugs are not on your provider's formulary or you have reached your cap for the year, don't despair. There are programs that can help you.


How Will Changes to the Affordable Care Act Affect You?

If you have cancer or are a survivor, you know how important it is to have affordable, quality medical care. One of the reasons that made healthcare reform necessary is that too many people were getting denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or the costs to be insured were astronomical. Healthcare reform affects us all and if you have cancer, it especially affects you. You will need to stay informed as politicians aim to modify or even repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act.

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  1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Pre-Existing Conditions. Updated January 31, 2017.