publication date: Mar. 27, 2015

Report: 2 in 5 Cancer Patients Concerned About Bankruptcy


Out-of-pocket costs for health care remain a top concern for many people living with cancer, according to a report by the Cancer Support Community, an international nonprofit.

The study, “An Insight into Patient Access to Care in Cancer,” surveyed 511 cancer patients, 480 of whom live in the U.S. Nearly 90 percent of the respondents were women, and nearly two-thirds were between the ages of 45 and 64.

The study found that, despite advances made in health care reform, nearly 50 percent report paying more for health care over the past 12 months, and out-of-pocket medical costs remain a top concern for many.

Regardless of whether respondents indicated that they liked or did not like their health insurance, the top three concerns were out-of-pocket costs for premiums, co-insurance, and co-pays for medications.

“People are making decisions like consumers in a situation where the clinical stakes and the potential suffering of patients is substantial,” said John Sprandio, a specialist in hematology and oncology in Philadelphia. “In general, health care reform is working well for some, and not as well for others.”

Specifically, among those who said that they did not like their coverage, 58 percent had concerns about their premiums, 67 percent had concerns about their coinsurance and 54 percent had concerns about copay costs for medications.

Furthermore, two in five patients said they were seriously or very seriously concerned about potentially bankrupting their family with medical costs.

Additionally, 71 percent reported not receiving social and emotional support services during their cancer experience, which could have prevented some trade-off decisions, such as skipping doses … Continue reading 41-12 Report: 2 in 5 Cancer Patients Concerned About Bankruptcy

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