Every year between October 15 and December 7, Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their Medicare coverage. This “open enrollment” period provides an important opportunity for individuals over the age of 65 to review their Medicare coverage to determine if a different plan may better meet their needs. If a beneficiary decides that they do not want to make any changes, then no action is required. It may be helpful to think of open enrollment as an annual ‘check-up’ for Medicare coverage and benefits.
On November 10, 2020, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in a legal challenge that seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the ACA remains the law of the land for now, it is important for all people, including cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones, to understand the potential implications and what this case means for them. If the Supreme Court finds that the entire ACA is unconstitutional, it could have serious effects on access to care, removing many essential patient protections that cancer patients and survivors depend on. The Cancer Support Community is ready to continue our work to assist people impacted by cancer no matter what happens to the ACA.
Each month, the Cancer Policy Institute profiles advocates who have been engaged in health advocacy. Read on to learn more about Mackenzie and her passion for closing the gap in health disparities. If you are interested in learning more about policy, advocacy, and ways to get involved, sign up to be a part of the Grassroots Network!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, over 276,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors (people who have ever been diagnosed with breast cancer) live in the U.S.
Welcome then to the gray zone, a space that can feel equal parts unsettling and empowering. Both are true, and here’s why. The gray zone is where we rid ourselves of rigid black and white thinking and certainty by appreciating small, less defined moments that give shape to our experiences.
I think it’s the cruelty of it all that has me so upset. Cancer is fierce. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Cancer kills. This is true: there’s nothing quite like a cancer diagnosis to bring us face to face with mortality.
On September 18, 2020, it was announced that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died after five bouts with cancer (including colon, lung, and most recently metastatic pancreatic cancer).
The White House recently released the Executive Order on Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First. This Executive Order would create demonstration projects across the country through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Department of Health and Human Services to test a requirement that Medicare pay the same price for prescription drugs as other countries. This includes all drugs, both Medicare Part B and Part D. CSC strongly supports, and has long advocated for, policies that improve access and affordability for cancer patients. Patients should have the right to determine the most appropriate therapies by engaging in a shared decision-making process with their providers.
Each month, the Cancer Policy Institute profiles advocates who have been engaged in health advocacy. Read on to learn more about Rujul and his tip for people interested in becoming an advocate.
One of the major themes dominating health care discussions today is that health care costs in the United States are proving unsustainable. Practices known as utilization management (UM) are one of the ways by which health care costs have been addressed. As part of the Forum on Utilization Management, the Cancer Policy Institute (CPI) is releasing a series of blogs aimed at educating patients about different UM practices and techniques, how they impact access to care, as well as advocacy opportunities to address those barriers to care. Read this third blog in the series to learn more about Step Therapy.