Nearly half of cancer patients report higher out-of-pocket costs than expected: 9 survey findings

Many cancer patients have higher out-of-pocket costs than expected, and most don't discuss healthcare costs with their provider prior to treatment, according to a new study from the Cancer Support Community.

For the study, researchers surveyed a cross-section of adults with a history of a cancer diagnosis. More than 1,200 individuals took the survey, although researchers' analysis is based on the 1,046 respondents who reported living in the United States and receiving a cancer diagnosis. The survey was conducted online between June and August.

The majority of respondents were between the ages of 45 and 64 years old and 38 percent were working full-time or part-time.

Here are nine survey findings.

1. A majority (77.7 percent) of survey respondents have employer-based insurance coverage or Medicare.

2. Survey respondents cited affordability and Medicaid ineligibility as reasons for lack of insurance coverage.

3. A quarter of survey respondents experienced delays in accessing cancer care.

4. Medicaid beneficiaries experienced the greatest care delivery delays.

5. Many (37.6 percent) of respondents want more involvement in care and treatment decisions.

6. Nearly half (42.6 percent) of survey respondents said their out-of-pocket costs have been larger than expected.

7. A majority (68 percent) of survey respondents did not discuss healthcare costs with their provider prior to starting treatment.

8. Twenty-two percent of survey respondents said they skipped recommended treatments to manage out-of-pocket costs.

9. More than 45 percent of survey respondents had to get prior authorization for a treatment that was prescribed to treat their cancer.   



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