The Affordable Care Act: What African Americans confronting cancer should know

October 3, 2013

President Obama’s Affordable
Care Act (ACA) enters
a new implementation stage
when the Health Insurance
Marketplaces open for enrollment
on October 1. The
more than 6.8 million uninsured
African Americans
who are eligible for health
coverage under the law will
be able to fill out an application
to find and enroll in coverage
that fits their budget
and needs and that can start
as early as January 1, 2014.
Many African Americans
will want to know how the
Affordable Care Act will affect
cancer care. What you
should know about the
new law is this: The Affordable
Care Act will
help make health insurance
coverage available
for many people who
otherwise would be uninsured,
either because
they couldn’t afford to
buy health insurance or
because they were refused
coverage on the
basis of a pre-existing condition,
such as cancer. The
law also requires insurance
companies to cover certain
cancer-related services, including
some prevention
and early detection services
such as mammography, and
makes it illegal for insurance
companies to turn someone
down because they are sick.
For those without employer-
provided health insurance
coverage for 2014, it is important
to be aware of
these key dates:
• Tuesday, October
1, 2013 – Open enrollment
begins in the online
Health Insurance Marketplace
in each state.
• Wednesday, January 1,
2014 – This is the earliest
that insurance plans purchased
through a Marketplace
will begin covering
health expenses.
• March 31, 2014 – Open
enrollment period ends.
Information is key, so
learn more about the Affordable
Care Act and how
it affects you. To share important
information about
the Affordable Care Act, the
U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services has
• An updated website,, that helps
both individuals and businesses
find health coverage
information that fits their
specific situation and that
provides answers to many
common questions
• A Spanish version of the
website, CuidadoDeSalud.