Quality of Insurance Linked to Cancer Survival: Survey

Families have used their savings or gone without treatment, the survey finds

A new poll conducted by the country's leading cancer advocacy organization finds that the odds of surviving cancer correlate with whether a patient has health insurance -- and the quality of that health insurance.

The poll, commissioned by the American Cancer Society, looked at more than 1,000 families affected by cancer.  It finds that more than 40-percent of families had troubled affording health care in the last few years and more than one-in-five families were forced to use up all or most of its savings because of medical costs.

“For all the advances we’ve made in cancer research, our broken health care system remains an obstacle for cancer patients and, as this poll shows, many decide to delay or skip treatment due to cost,” said Maureen Fitzgerald, Regional Vice President of the American Cancer Society in Manhattan.

The survey finds that nearly one in three people under age 65 who have been diagnosed with cancer has been uninsured at some point since their diagnosis and that nearly 66% of Americans under the age of 65 who are diagnosed with cancer and then searched for medical coverage could not find an affordable plan.

 “Congress and the President need to act on health care reform this year – families struggling to battle cancer can’t wait any longer,” Fitzgerald said.

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