Insurance Coverage Means Earlier Diagnosis And Longer Survival Times for Two Types of Cancer

Two recent studies on cancer say that people with private insurance are diagnosed earlier and live longer than those on Medicaid or the uninsured. Both studies were published in Cancer.

One looks at the survival rate for over 13,000 patients with one kind of malignant brain tumor (glioblastoma multiforme or GBM) between 2007 and 2012. The other looked at over 10,000 patients diagnosed with testicular cancer between 2007 and 2011.

The GBM study concluded: “Variations existed in insurance status within the GBM population. Uninsured status and Medicaid insurance suggested shorter survival compared with non-Medicaid insurance among a population of patients with GBM.”

The testicular cancer study reached much the same conclusion, but also mentions the ACA. “Patients without insurance and patients with Medicaid have an increased risk of presenting with advanced disease and dying of the disease in comparison with those who have insurance. Future studies should examine whether implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reduces these disparities.”