How Health Reform Affects Your Cancer Care
Mental Health Support During Cancer Treatment
Many people have depression and anxiety during cancer treatment. As of 2014, you can get depression screening at no extra cost. Most health plans offer mental health services as part of the essential benefits package. How much you pay for your care will depend on the plan you enroll in.
You can also get these services through Medicare and Medicaid.
Savings on Cancer Drug Costs for Seniors
If you are on Medicare Part D , the Affordable Care Act helps pay for medicines when you are in the so-called donut hole. The donut hole is a gap in coverage from Medicare Part D. That means you have to pay the full cost of the meds. The donut hole starts when you reach your plan's drug-spending limit.
If you're in the donut hole in 2014, you'll pay 47.5% of the cost of brand-name drugs and 72% of the cost of generic drugs that are covered under Medicare Part D. In 2015, your share of the cost of medications while in the donut hole drops to 45% for brand-name drugs and 65% for generics.
By 2020, Medicare's donut hole will end.
Essential Health Benefits
If you buy health insurance through your state's Marketplace, your plan must cover certain essential health benefits. You may need some of these services as a cancer patient, including such services as:
- Chronic disease care
- Emergency care
- Hospital care
- Lab services
- Mental health services
- Outpatient treatment
- Prescription drug coverage
- Rehabilitation services
Be aware that each state determines the details of exactly what must be covered under each of these categories. Individual health plans may add to those minimum requirements. So whether you get your insurance through an employer or on your state's Marketplace, read the plan's summary of benefits to see what your costs will be before you enroll.