Documenting the Health Insurance Needs of Cancer Patients and Providing Scarce Resolutions
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- Wiatrek, D.E., Morra, M., Shaw, B. et al. J Canc Educ (2013) 28: 221. doi:10.1007/s13187-013-0451-7
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The American Cancer Society’s Health Insurance Assistance Service provides callers to its National Cancer Information Center with detailed knowledge to help them access or maintain health insurance coverage for which they might be eligible. Demographic data from April 2009 to June 2011 show that 76 % were uninsured and between the ages of 40–60; 65 % were Caucasian, 17 % African American, and12% Hispanic; and monthly incomes were $1,999 or less. Current trends indicate that callers are similar to those identified in various health care reform publications: callers are unable to afford co-pays; facilities are requesting cash upfront; callers report loss of coverage, less adequate or less affordable coverage from employers; large out-of-pocket expense or high deductibles are needed; and modification of the CDC’s Breast and Cervical Screening Program’s eligibility guidelines create challenges. Six lessons that have been learned while initiating and managing this program are presented.