US cancer patients spent $5.6B on healthcare in 2018, report finds

Cancer patients in the U.S. spent $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket healthcare costs in 2018, a new report from the American Cancer Society found. 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network analyzed costs associated with cancer care for patients with various insurance types, including large employer-sponsored plans, individual marketplace plans and Medicare.

Overall, cancer-related spending cost the U.S. economy about $183 billion in 2015. This figure is expected to hit $246 billion by 2030, marking a 34 percent projected increase, according to the report.

The estimated average annual out-of-pocket costs for a cancer patient was:

  • $6,446 with a large employer plan
  • $8,684 with Medicare
  • $10,747 with a small employer high deductible health plan
  • $12,931 with an individual marketplace plan
  • $51,660 with a short-term, limited duration plan 

“Research shows that paying $5,000 or $10,000 out of pocket — often within a span of only one to three months — is extremely challenging, even under the best-case scenario," Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a news release. "This report shows just how important it is that patients have access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage."

To view the full report, click here.

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