On March 11, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law, expanding access to health care coverage to more Americans, including cancer patients and survivors, who may have lost their insurance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The law will increase the eligibility and generosity of subsidies to cover the costs of marketplace health plans, offer financial support to cover all of the premium costs for laid off workers who choose to keep their employer-sponsored health care plans, and encourage the 12 states which have yet to expand their Medicaid programs to do so through increased federal reimbursement that would give millions more people access to affordable, quality health care. It will also provide economic assistance to some nonprofits, many of which are struggling to provide essential services during this time.
Below is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), made after Congress passed the legislation:
“We welcome the final passage of the coronavirus relief bill and its numerous provisions to expand access to affordable comprehensive health coverage. These changes will make a significant difference to thousands of people, including those with a history of cancer, who may have found themselves out of work and without insurance due to the pandemic. Making sure people have meaningful health coverage is essential and this pandemic has made that clearer than ever before.
“Also made clear is the critical role nonprofits play in keeping our communities functioning and families able to meet their needs during this time. Extending economic relief to nonprofits hit hard by the pandemic—many of which provide critical health related services—will help make sure these essential organizations can continue to do their important work."