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Metastatic Breast Cancer Access To Care Act

Federal Precedent For Extended Coverage

Metastatic Breast Cancer Day-Joy Jenrette

The National Breast Cancer Coalition urges Congress to enact legislation to amend the Social Security Act to eliminate waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for eligible individuals with metastatic breast cancer.

In 2001, Congress passed a bill to add Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis as a qualifying condition for automatic Medicare coverage and, in 2020, waived the five-month waiting period for SSDI for individuals with ALS, thus creating a federal precedent. Based on the limited life expectancy of individuals with metastatic disease, an average of 3 years, NBCC believes that both automatic SSDI and Medicare coverage should also apply to metastatic breast cancer patients who qualify.

Women In Their Fight Against Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer is the most common and deadliest form of cancer for women in the United States. Our mission is to help elect responsible public officials who support cancer programs and to educate members of Congress and the public about issues related to Breast Cancer and its effects on members of our communities.

Crisis Relief comes in many forms. We need strong and robust health care policies dedicated to end the needless suffering of so many Americans by making sure their health care needs are provided for regardless of social, educational or financial status.

With your contribution, we will directly support lawmakers who will fight to pass impactful and permanent legislation.

Support The Metastatic Breast Cancer Access To Care Act

Our friends over at the Young Survival Coalition have just shared this great, legislative advocacy opportunity with us and we couldnt wait to share it with you!

From now through September 9, you have an important opportunity to make your voice count! The Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act is an important legislative priority of the National Breast Cancer Coalition that concerns Medicare and Social Security eligibility for metastatic breast cancer patients.

If passed, HR 2178/S 1374 would waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare eligibility and the 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

During August, Congress is on a break, so its a great time to reach out. You are your own best advocate, and this is an important opportunity to make a difference!

Read Also: How The Breast Cancer Starts

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Urge Our Members Of Congress To Cosponsor S 1312 / Hr 3183

Ask Your Members of Congress to Cosponsor the Metastatic Breast Cancer ...

Please give the following message to the staffer who answers the phone in your Representatives office. Also, please call the offices of Senator Johnson and Senator Baldwin with the same message. A record is kept on how many calls are received on a specific issue each day. If you are a person living with metastatic breast cancer and/or a constituent, please be sure to add that along with your message.

I am calling today to urge Representative to sign on as a cosponsor of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act S 1312 / HR 3183.

If you care to, you may add a personal message or something about the bill as noted in the first paragraph but no more than a couple sentences. Brief is best for calls.

Also Check: Does Breast Cancer Lower Your Immune System

Metastatic Breast Cancer Access To Care Act

BCCRF is proud to announce our support and advocacy efforts toward the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act. Originally introduced in June 2018 by Representatives Peter King and Kathy Castor , this vital legislation would waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare eligibility and the 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for individuals under 65 with metastatic breast cancer. Every year, breast cancer advocates from all over the country fight to have congress appropriate funds for this important bill by reaching out to their representatives and urging them to sign on as co-sponsors.

In detail, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act would provide individuals with metastatic breast cancer who already qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance and are therefore eligible for Medicare immediate access to support and medical care. Under current law, these individuals must wait five months for SSDI and 24 months for Medicare benefits to take effect. This bill would waive both waiting periods.

Take Action On Important Breast Cancer Legislation

Public policy plays a significant role in breast cancer research, treatment and patients access to affordable care. As such, public policy is a key part of Susan G. Komens Mission and our 360-degree approach to fighting this disease.

We know that in order to save lives, everyone must have access to high-quality and affordable care. Yet, many patients face barriers preventing them from getting the care that might save their lives.

Komen advocates in states across the country and at the federal level to pass meaningful legislation so that everyone regardless of age, gender, race and socioeconomic status can get the care they need.

At the federal level, many important pieces of legislation have been introduced that would benefit research and patients. We need your help advancing pending legislation. Take action today!

The legislation includes:

Access to Breast Cancer Diagnosis Act H.R.2428

Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act H.R.1370/S.562

Cancer Drug Parity Act H.R.1730/S.741

Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act H.R.2178/S.1374

Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act H.R.2777/S.1938

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Access And Coverage For Cancer Care

Access to Breast Cancer Diagnosis Act

  • This bill prohibits private health insurance plans from imposing higher cost-sharing requirements on breast cancer diagnostic examinations than initial breast cancer screening examinations. Diagnostic examinations are generally required after an initial screening detects an abnormality and typically require additional mammogram images .

Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act

  • This bill would require health insurance issuers to provide coverage for standard fertility preservation services when a medically necessary treatment may directly or indirectly cause iatrogenic infertility.

Cancer Care Planning and Communications Act

  • The legislation would amend the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of cancer care planning and coordination under the Medicare program.

Cancer Drug Parity Act of 2021

  • This legislation would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to require a group health plan to provide for cost sharing for oral anticancer drugs on terms no less favorable than the cost sharing provided for anticancer medications administered by a healthcare provider.

Childrens Program of All-Inclusive Coordinated Care Act of 2021

  • The bill aims to provide coverage for palliative care, including hospice care, for critically ill children.

Colorectal Cancer Payment Fairness Act

Expanding Access to Palliative Care Act

Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act

Precision Medicine Answers for Kids Today Act

Reps Castor Katko Reintroduce Bipartisan Metastatic Breast Cancer Access To Care Act

Metastatic Breast Cancer: Black Americans have 31% higher risk of dying than any other group

Health Care Legislation Women

Today, U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor and John Katko reintroduced the bipartisan Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act. This legislation would provide immediate access to support and medical care for individuals with metastatic breast cancer who already qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance and are therefore eligible for Medicare. Under current law, these individuals must wait five months for SSDI and 24 months for Medicare benefits to take effect. This bill would waive both waiting periods, potentially improving outcomes for Americans with late-stage cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread from the breast to the bones, lungs or other distant parts of the body. While there are some treatments, there is no cure. The average life expectancy of an individual with metastatic breast cancer is three years.

Too many women and men in the U.S. have to deal with how to pay for treatment and provide for their families while they are dying from metastatic breast cancer, said Fran Visco, President of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. The National Breast Cancer Coalition and its members from across the country who have worked hard for years to address this issue are grateful for Representatives Castor and Katkos leadership on this bill. It will make a significant difference for those who face this terrible situation.

Read Also: How To Check For Breast Cancer In Men

Mcsallys Bill Would Hasten Health Coverage For Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally on May 8 sponsored bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for Americans having metastatic breast cancer.

Breast cancer patients dont have time to wait months or even years to access treatment, Sen. McSally said. My bill would waive these arbitrary wait times and give patients the chance to fight their diagnosis faster and more effectively.

Sen. McSally introduced her chambers version of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, S. 1374, with cosponsor U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy .

If enacted, S. 1374 would defer both the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance and the 24-month waiting period for eligible Medicare benefits, according to information provided by Sen. McSallys office.

A companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the same-named H.R. 2178, was introduced on April 9 by U.S. Reps. Peter King and Kathy Castor .

Ninety percent of breast cancer deaths are as a result of metastatic disease, when the cancer spreads to another part of the patients body, said Sen. McSally.

S. 1374, which is supported by the National Breast Cancer Coalition, has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

A Sensitivity To Bias

For Deas, sharing these resources with the community is critical.

âPatients donât know they have these resources available,â she said, adding that her own uncle, who lived in Tacoma, recently died of throat cancer, which if caught early is often survivable.

Unfortunately, his cancer was misdiagnosed for years.

âWith African American men, a lot of things are misdiagnosed,â she said. âIt took one smart ER resident to finally figure out he had throat cancer and not a sore throat or bronchitis. By that time, it had spread. He had surgery, but they didnât get it all.â

After surgery, she said, her uncle developed a lump.

âWhen I addressed it with his medical team, they finally tested it and confirmed that the cancer was back and it was aggressive,â she said. âMy uncle ultimately died. But had he had some of our transportation resources, he might have decided to travel to Seattle for his treatment. He was a proud man and convenience played a major role in continuing his care locally. Patient navigation would have made a big difference in my uncleâs care.â

Deas said experiences like that have prepared her for the work she does with cancer patients today.

âBecause of the things Iâve been exposed to, I have more sensitivity to the challenges people are going through,â she said.

But navigating the system for patients is only part of what needs to be done to improve health outcomes, she added.

Recommended Reading: What To Say To Someone Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Navigating Cancer And Barriers To Care

Dr. Harold Freeman, the Harlem surgeon who came up with the idea of patient navigation in 1990, envisioned it as a âcommunity-based service delivery intervention designed to promote access to timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases by eliminating barriers to care.â

In other words, it provides resources and support services to the people who most need them. But the concept has changed over time, said Dr. Scott Ramsey, a health care services researcher and director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research whoâs studied the value of patient navigation in cancer care.

âFreeman started this because in these very underserved populations, people would receive a new diagnosis of cancer, disappear for months or years, then show up again when their cancer was incurable,â Ramsey said. âFreeman figured out they couldnât navigate the system, so he started the program to help them. It was a lifesaving issue for those folks. Then it morphed into this thing where everybody needed a navigator.â

Soon, he said, every cancer center had something akin to a patient navigator, although their roles could be quite different from Freeman’s model. The term soon began to apply to anyone, from the person who helps you pick out the best health insurance plan on the exchange, part of the Affordable Care Act, to a commercial patient navigator who provides their services for a fee.

Breast Cancer Relief Committee Initiative

News  Breast Cancer Care &  Research Fund

Thank you for being such a generous supporter of the American Coalition for Crisis Relief PAC, which is a bipartisan independent expenditure-only group established under Section 527 of the tax code. The American Coalition for Crisis Relief PAC is also known as the Breast Cancer Relief Committee. Crisis Relief comes in many forms. Our mission is to help support responsible public officials who advocate for cancer relief and to inform members of Congress as well as the general public about issues related to breast cancer and other cancers. We need to ensure that healthcare needs are met, regardless of an individuals social, educational or financial status.

S 1312, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act is a bill to eliminate the waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for individuals with metastatic breast cancer. The bill was introduced on April 22, 2021 by Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

HR 3183,Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act which would amend Title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for individuals with metastatic breast cancer. The bill was introduced by Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida on May 13, 2021.

Paid for by American Coalition for Crisis Relief PAC, an independent expenditure-only committee, www.americancoalitionforcrisisrelief.com, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

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Shown Here: Introduced In House

Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act

This bill expedites payment of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and eligibility for Medicare coverage for those with metastatic breast cancer .

Specifically, the bill eliminates the 5-month waiting period for SSDI benefits and the subsequent 24-month waiting period for Medicare coverage for individuals with metastatic breast cancer. Under current law, individuals generally must wait five months after the onset of disability to begin receiving SSDI benefits and an additional 24 months to become eligible for Medicare.

Measuring Success Moving Forward

Mendoza said the OCOE is currently analyzing data from patient surveys to measure the effectiveness of the program. Results will most likely be released next year.

âWeâre looking at from when we first brought in the patient navigators for Indigenous and Black/African-descent populations ,â he said. âThatâs when we reoriented things from being a crisis-care model to one that is proactive and longitudinal in nature.â

His hope is that the program will prove successful enough that it can be expanded to Fred Hutchâs other locations around the Seattle area and elsewhere in Washington state.

âOffering this service to patients no matter where theyâre being cared for would be fantastic,â he said.

But that requires funding, of course.

âRight now, some of our navigators are funded through grants which is wonderful but nerve-wracking,â he said. âWhat if the grant doesnât come through? Weâve all seen that happen. Making sure the navigators are funded through the Hutchâs operational budget would be a wonderful way to recognize how important and essential they are to the care team.â

Even without the survey data to back it up, Mendoza believes the patient navigation program has absolutely proven its value.

For Schalau, the metastatic breast cancer patient that Devine helped with financial resources, those little things can mean everything.

Read Also: Does Putting Your Phone In Your Bra Cause Breast Cancer

Shown Here: Introduced In Senate

Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act

This bill expedites payment of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and eligibility for Medicare coverage for those with metastatic breast cancer .

Specifically, the bill eliminates the 5-month waiting period for SSDI benefits and the subsequent 24-month waiting period for Medicare coverage for individuals with metastatic breast cancer. Under current law, individuals generally must wait five months after the onset of disability to begin receiving SSDI benefits and an additional 24 months to become eligible for Medicare.

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