Special report on the cost of breast cancer care

In their recent special report, spoke with experts and people diagnosed with cancer about the major causes of cancer care-related financial problems and the steps you can take to make costs more manageable. In 2019, they explained in their report article, people paid higher out-of-pocket costs for breast cancer care than they did for any other type of cancer care — a total of $3.14 billion.

People diagnosed with cancer who have Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage have been particularly vulnerable to having high out-of-pocket costs for oral cancer drugs because there has been no upper limit on the amount they have to pay out of pocket each year. 

“Medicare Part D beneficiaries are the only insured group in the [United States] that have not had a limit on what they pay out of pocket for their medications,” said Amy Niles, executive vice president of the PAN Foundation, an organization in Washington, D.C., that helps underinsured people with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases get the medicines they need. 

“The Inflation Reduction Act will have a very significant impact on lowering out-of-pocket costs for people on Medicare, which will mean that more people will be able to start and stay on treatment,” said Niles. “It will bring about huge positive changes and it just makes good policy sense.”