The financial impact of cancer, during treatment as well as during the years of long-term follow-up care, is experienced by many patients and survivors. AYAs may be further negatively impacted as they are historically the largest proportion of uninsured or underinsured patients.
Dr. Susan Parsons, our AYA Cancer Program Medical Director, has graduate training in health planning and economics. She also cares deeply about this problem and has been working at a national level to move discussions forward with other providers on how to mitigate this issue.
In February 2020, Dr. Parsons was an invited speaker at the 10th annual Texas Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology Conference. She spoke to an engaged audience about the “Financial Challenges Faced by AYAs with Cancer.” The presentation noted that the current AYA population may be even more vulnerable than ever before, and that is before layering the complexity of a cancer diagnosis.
She concluded with the messages:
- Financial burden may affect care seeking behaviors in ways not obvious to the care team
- Having health insurance is not complete protection
- Financial navigation and counseling are needed to guide insurance product selection and financial management