Amended Health Insurance Rule Threatens Key Component of Standard Cancer Treatment

On October 12, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, issued the following statement:

The Trump administration's move to expand the rights of employers to opt out of the requirement for contraceptive coverage would have unexpected and deleterious consequences for patients of childbearing age with cancer. Women of childbearing age with cancer and their male partners are advised as a part of standard oncology care to practice contraception—considered as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act—to reduce the chances of miscarriages and birth defects.

If this rule is implemented as announced, not only would it discourage a necessary part of cancer care, the new policy would also add to the extreme financial burden already faced by many people with cancer who would have to cover the cost of contraception recommended by their doctors.

ASCO strongly urges the Administration to provide an exemption for patients with cancer in the interim final rules “Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act” and “Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act.” Women and their partners who are already facing a difficult diagnosis and potentially toxic treatment, should not be further burdened with the inability to access and afford a medically necessary part of high-quality cancer care.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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