Unlocking the Power of Prevention in the Fight Against Cancer

Did you know that cancer is the second-leading cause of death in America? It's a sobering statistic, butA white woman in a read turtleneck seated in a doctor's office with a Black woman doctor in a white coat and holding a clipboard. there is a ray of hope; studies have shown that over 30 percent of cancers diagnosed today could be prevented through methods like screening and early detection. As part of Cancer Control Month, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is committed to the Biden Cancer Moonshot goal of preventing more cancers before they start and detecting cancer early when it's most treatable.

One of the crucial tools in this fight is the Affordable Care Act, which requires most group health plans to cover preventive services, including cancer-related screenings, with no out-of-pocket costs. These protections cover preventive measures for various types of cancer, such as breast, colon, cervical and lung cancer. The services focus on detection, prevention and treatment – providing a comprehensive approach to cancer care without financial barriers.

Here are three steps to help you manage your health and use your health coverage to help you and your family members prevent cancer:

  1. Review Your Health Plan: Look at your job-based health plan to understand what preventive services are covered. Knowing your coverage can empower you to make informed and timely decisions about your health.

  2. Use Preventive Services: Schedule the regular screenings recommended for your age, gender and risk factors. Early detection can significantly improve treatment outcomes and quality of life. 

  3. Get Help: If you have questions about your coverage for preventive services or need assistance understanding your rights under the Affordable Care Act, reach out for help. You can talk to your plan administrator or contact EBSA’s Benefits Advisors at askebsa.dol.gov or by calling 1-866-444-3272. 

The Affordable Care Act's protections for these services aiding in the fight against cancer can help during Cancer Control Month and beyond. Take advantage of these resources to significantly impact your health and well-being. 

For more information on preventive services and other protections under your job-based health plan, visit the EBSA website or our Affordable Care Act for Workers and Families webpage

Lisa M. Gomez is the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.