SCCA and the Affordable Care Act
Dear community member;
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) supports the goals of the Affordable Care Act to make insurance coverage more secure for those who have insurance, extend affordable coverage to the uninsured, and improve healthcare quality and patient safety. In this state, thousands of individuals who do not have health insurance will be able to obtain it through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. And for cancer patients, the ACA eliminates the challenge of lifetime maximums, ensures coverage for pre-existing conditions and improves access to clinical trials.
Unfortunately, when it comes to accessing quality cancer care, many consumers seeking insurance through the Healthcare Exchange will not have coverage for cancer treatment at SCCA - even though we offer patients the latest treatments for a wide range of cancers, as well as access to clinical trials that are not offered by any other physicians and health providers in the state.
We know that the most important decision someone with cancer makes is where to get treated first. National studies have shown that patients who begin their treatment at a top regional cancer center such as SCCA have better survival rates than those who started treatment elsewhere. It is a great concern for us that cancer patients from across the state who want and need to come to SCCA for their treatment may be unable to do so because the SCCA has been excluded as an in-network provider in most of the health plans sold in the state approved exchanges.
We are not included as an in-network provider in the Exchange for Regence (Bridgespan), Premera, Lifewise, Molina and Coordinated Care. In addition, we have concerns that patients may incur significantly higher out-of-pocket expenses for out-of-network treatment.
As you make your decision about which health plans are best for you and your family, we recommend that you check with the insurance provider to verify that access to SCCA and coverage of the critical services we provide is included in your plan at affordable rates.
SCCA is an in-network provider for these healthcare plans in the Exchange: Group Health, Kaiser and Community Health Plan of Washington.
If you have questions or concerns about your insurance coverage through the Washington State Healthcare Exchange, we also encourage you to contact Office of the Insurance Commission through their hotline at 1-800-562-6900 or on line at www.insurance.wa.gov
Our goal, every day, is to turn cancer patients in to cancer survivors. We will continue to work with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to seek a remedy to this problem. We are also reaching out to the insurance plans that have excluded SCCA in hopes of finding a resolution for cancer patients across the state.
Norman E. Hubbard
Executive Vice President, SCCA
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Answers to common questions about SCCA and its parent organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children's.
A quick fact sheet for journalists and others about SCCA.