Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size

    How Health Care Reform Affects Your Cancer Care

    If you have cancer, the Affordable Care Act gives you protection against losing insurance coverage and protects the health care benefits you have.

    Cancer and Insurance Coverage

    Health plans have to help pay for your cancer treatment. You have rights as a cancer patient under the Affordable Care Act:

    • Your insurance cannot be canceled because you have cancer.
    • You cannot be denied insurance if you have cancer.
    • Children with cancer cannot be turned down for coverage.
    • If you qualify and want to take part in a clinical trial, your health plan must help pay for routine costs associated with approved clinical trials. A trial may help you get new cancer treatments.

    Limits on How Much You Have to Pay for Cancer Treatment

    The Affordable Care Act has rules about the most you have to pay out-of-pocket for the medical care you get from your doctors and the hospitals that participate in your plan. These protections are available even if you have cancer:

    There is no dollar limit on how much an insurance company spends on covered expenses for your health care. Annual and lifetime limits have gone away.

    If you are sick, you cannot be charged more for health insurance.

    Your out-of-pocket costs will be limited. There's a maximum amount, or cap, on how much you'll have to spend on copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.

    If you enroll in a health plan through your state's Marketplace or have a health plan from your employer that covers medical and pharmacy costs for 2016, these are your spending caps or maximums:

    • If you are single, your annual out-of-pocket costs for in-network care are capped at $6,850.
    • For a family, the annual cap is $13,700.

    You might be able to get financial help to pay for some costs if you're buying insurance through your state's Marketplace. Both tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies are available to people with qualifying incomes. Check on to find out.

    You might qualify for Medicaid, even if you haven’t qualified in the past. Some states have expanded Medicaid to cover more people. Check with your state’s Marketplace to find out if your state is one of those.

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    what is your cancer risk
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    prostate cancer overview
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    Actor Michael Douglas