Many Cancer Hospitals Off Limits Under Obamacare

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A new report reveals that many of the nation's best cancer hospitals are off-limits under the Affordable Care Act.

The report is the latest example of problems with the health care law as the clock ticks own to the March 31 signup deadline.

CBN News has reported about the millions of Americans whose health insurance was cancelled under Obamacare and the Obama administration's numerous delays to blunt the negative impact of the law.

Now the Associated Press has discovered through a nationwide survey that only four of 19 comprehensive cancer hospitals say patients have access through all the insurance companies in their state exchange.

For example, in Washington state, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by 5 out of 8 insurers in the state's insurance exchange. And in New York City, Memorial Sloan-Kettering is excluded by 7 of 9 Obamacare insurers.

Comprehensive cancer hospitals have higher survival rates. But many cancer patients insured under Obamacare will not be able receive their advanced, life-saving treatments, like clinical trials of new medications.

In addition, cancer patients shopping online in the new insurance markets will have a tough time finding out if top hospitals are included in a plan.

Even well-known insurance companies are scaling back cancer coverage under the Obamacare exchanges.

For example, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield includes the St. Louis-based Siteman Cancer Center in many of its private plans sold outside the Missouri exchange, but none within the exchange.

"We have had many people say to us, 'I picked Anthem because you guys are always in their products, and I assumed you would be in their exchange products,'" said Melanie Lapidus, vice president for managed care at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, home to Siteman.

"It's still hard to tell who is in network and who is not," she said.

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