Health Insurance Rule Threatens Key Component of Standard Cancer Treatment

Statement by ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO
For immediate release
October 12, 2017


Mary Rappaport
(571) 483-1374

The Trump administration’s move to expand the rights of employers to opt out of the requirement for contraceptive coverage would have unexpected and deleterious consequences for patients of child-bearing age with cancer. Women of child-bearing age with cancer and their male partners are advised as a part of standard oncology care to practice contraception—considered as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act—to reduce the chances of miscarriages and birth defects.

If this rule is implemented as announced, not only would it discourage a necessary part of cancer care, the new policy would also add to the extreme financial burden already faced by many people with cancer who would have to cover the cost of contraception recommended by their doctors.

ASCO strongly urges the Administration to provide an exemption for patients with cancer in the interim final rules “Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services under the Affordable Care Act” and “Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act.”  Women and their partners who are already facing a difficult diagnosis and potentially toxic treatment, should not be further burdened with the inability to access and afford a medically necessary part of high-quality cancer care.


About ASCO: 

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world’s leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents more than 40,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.