Strengthening Medicaid for Cancer Patients and Their Families

Medicaid plays a critical role in providing affordable health coverage to cancer patients and survivors. Over 2 million Americans with a history of cancer rely on Medicaid for their health care. Medicaid expansion has also been associated with higher screening rates for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), a Modern Medicaid Alliance partner, makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. To further this mission and ensure all Americans have access to essential cancer care, ACS CAN advocates for expansion of affordable health care options, including Medicaid.

ACS CAN has launched the Medicaid Covers US project to highlight the role that Medicaid plays in the health and wellbeing of cancer patients, their families, and their broader communities. The project features three award-winning documentary short films and a series on health equity.

The Medicaid Covers US film series take place in three  states that have yet to expand Medicaid: Alabama, Kansas, and North Carolina. The videos combine impactful statistics on the Medicaid coverage gap with personal anecdotes about individuals who rely on Medicaid to manage their disease. They also spotlight health care and hospital workers who emphasize that access to preventive treatment through Medicaid saves individuals and communities from long-term costs.

The campaign also includes an interactive storybook that shares additional stories from individuals across the country about the critical and often life-saving care they received from Medicaid. The campaign has developed numerous resources for partners to get involved with the project, including a messaging toolkit to use when promoting the importance of Medicaid.

A key component of the Medicaid Covers US project is the intersection of Medicaid, COVID-19, and health equity. Data shows that Medicaid expansion leads to better health outcomes, such as reductions in end stage renal disease and maternal mortality, for racial and ethnic minorities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid and managed care waived the cost of all COVID-19 related treatment for enrollees, and managed care plans took action to reduce social barriers to health.

ACS CAN and the Modern Medicaid Alliance are committed to strengthening Medicaid for American families. In February, the Modern Medicaid Alliance sent a letter to Congressional leadership, urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to bolster Medicaid and expand access to critical services. The letter highlighted the need to close the Medicaid coverage gap by expanding the eligibility of Affordable Care Act qualified health plans.

For more information about Medicaid coverage for cancer prevention and early detection, visit this link. To learn more about what Alliance partners are doing to advocate for Medicaid, check out our Medicaid Spotlight initiative.

“Because of Medicaid, I am the first person in my family to attend college.”

—Stephanie Barr, Kansas