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Cancer News You Need: What’s Happening at the National & State Level?

Here is the latest news you need about laws and programs that may impact the cancer community, including health insurance options, medical debt, and paid sick leave.

Federal Updates

Do you like being able to get free preventive services?

You may have to start paying for preventative services. A federal judge in Texas found the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that health insurance companies cover preventive services at no cost to you, unconstitutional.

Currently, those preventative services include cancer screenings for colorectal, lung, breast, and cervical cancer, as well as other medical conditions, immunizations, and flu shots.

For a complete list of free preventative services, see Healthcare.gov. It is likely that the federal government will appeal the court’s decision, which may end up at the Supreme Court again. Triage Cancer will continue to watch this carefully.

Do you need help picking a health insurance plan?

More free health insurance navigators will now be available, because the federal government increased funding for this program. Navigators can help you understand your health insurance options, how to compare your options, and apply for a private health insurance plan through the State Health Insurance Marketplaces or see if you qualify for Medicaid in your state.

Navigators are not paid based on what plan you pick, so they offer an unbiased opinion. Marketplace Open Enrollment for 2023 plans, starts November 1, 2022, and ends January 15, 2023.

For more information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, read Triage Cancer’s Quick Guide to Health Insurance Marketplaces. To find local help, use Healthcare.gov’s locator.

If you would like tips on how to compare health insurance options to pick the plan that is best for you, watch Triage Cancer’s animated video, Picking a Health Insurance Plan.

Need some help tracking your options? Use our Health Insurance Comparison Worksheet.

Are you worried that health insurance will impact your immigration status?

The federal government will no longer consider you a “public charge” if you get health insurance through Medicaid or CHIP. An exception is coverage for long-term care, such as a nursing home. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will also not penalize you for receiving other non-cash benefits, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Other government cash-based benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), will not automatically prevent you from living in the U.S. Instead, it will be considered with other factors.

For more information on health insurance coverage, read Triage Cancer’s Quick Guide to Health Care Rights of Immigrants. For more information on other assistance programs, read Triage Cancer’s Checklist: Finding Financial Help.

State Updates


  • New applicants for Medicaid in Georgia will have to show they work, or are participating in job training, education, or volunteering. Georgia Medicaid will not be expanded to cover all people with a household income at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. This year, that is $18,754 for a household of one, and $38,295 for a household of 4.
  • Instead, applicants will also have to show that they are working 80 hours a month, or are participating in other approved activities. Also, people with incomes between 50% and 100% of the federal poverty level will need to make monthly premium payments for Medicaid.

North Carolina

  • North Carolina’s legislature failed to expand Medicaid. Both the Senate and House of Representatives had passed bills to expand Medicaid. But, a compromise was not able to be reached. For more information on Medicaid, check out Triage Cancer’s Quick Guide to Medicaid.

Stay tuned for more news at the national and state level that may impact the cancer community.

About Triage Cancer

Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit providing free education to people diagnosed with cancer, caregivers, and health care professionals on cancer-related legal and practical issues. Through eventsmaterials, and resources, Triage Cancer is dedicated to helping people move beyond diagnosis.

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