How Healthcare Reform is Easing Cancer Patients’ Minds

breast cancerEvery October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month – an annual campaign raising awareness of the disease and celebrating the 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

This year, however, October also marked the opening of the health insurance marketplaces in each state which enables people with breast cancer and other forms of cancer to enroll in health plans without fear of being denied coverage due to their health status or medical history.

Plans sold in the new marketplaces are required to offer essential benefits to prevent, treat and survive a life-threatening disease such as cancer, and patients with low to moderate incomes may be eligible for tax credits to reduce costs.

John R. Seffrin, PhD and Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and it’s advocacy affiliate the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network  (ACS CAN) said, “This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, people with cancer and their families have the security of knowing that soon they will no longer have to worry about whether they can get the care they need.”

The new law requires health plans to cover annual preventive mammograms for women starting at age 40, and BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing and counseling for women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer (all at no cost to patients).

Seffrin continued, saying, “The health care law dramatically improves access to mammography and proven breast cancer treatments that save lives.”

The ACS has released a consumer guide, The Health Care Law: How It Can Help People With Cancer and Their Families

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