The March 19 article “Many Cancer Centers Not Covered Under Health Law” discusses the issue of limited insurance coverage for nationally recognized cancer hospitals around the United States under the Affordable Care Act. Currently, patients at only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers have access through all of the insurance firms offered in their state’s exchanges.
The article conveys that the issue of cost directly impacts the decision to narrow the network of hospital and provider choices covered by the exchange’s insurance plans. With the ACA prohibiting denial of pre-existing condition coverage and lifetime dollar limits, insurance companies are trying to find innovative ways to save money. In my opinion, this cost-saving attempt is undoubtedly a highly strategic plan on the part of the insurance companies.
On the other hand, this cancer network limitation poses a potentially detrimental problem for cancer patients. Without coverage to the top cancer institutes, patients may not be able to receive the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials and new medications.
As to be expected with any new policy, some reworking and refining is expected, but it seems as if the Affordable Care Act presents problem after problem. While this law is knocking down the walls of pre-existing condition limitations, it is simultaneously opening the door for new and subtle obstacles.
The writer is a student in the health law program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.