Cancer Insurance Checklist will empower thousands of Spanish speakers touched by cancer as implementation of the Affordable Care Act continues

Peggy rios LPR 1
Peggy Rios, Ph.D
Program Director

WASHINGTON – The Cancer Support Community and a group of 18 partnering cancer and patient advocacy organizations have launched a Spanish language version of the Cancer Insurance Checklist, a resource originally launched in September 2013 to help people who have cancer, a history of cancer or are at risk for cancer choose insurance plans in the new state-based health insurance marketplaces that opened on October 1.

The Cancer Insurance Checklist guides consumers to review the coverage within each insurance plan they are considering, including coverage for services provided by their health care team, where care is delivered, medications and various common cancer treatments and services they may need. The Checklist also provides a worksheet to help the consumer detail the costs associated with each plan. The Checklist is designed to be used while evaluating insurance plans and also when discussing them with a navigator or health care provider.

Nearly a third (31.1%) of Latinos under age 65 in the U.S. do not have health insurance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the White House, 10 million Latinos are eligible for coverage under the health insurance exchanges, 4 million of which speak Spanish.

«Language barriers are creating challenges for Spanish speakers who are trying to navigate the health insurance marketplaces,» said Kim Thiboldeaux, President and CEO of the Cancer Support Community. «It is important to ensure that speakers of other languages understand the coverage for cancer-related health services so that they can make educated decisions based on their health needs and their budgets.»

People with cancer concerns can download and print the Cancer Insurance Checklist free of charge by visiting CancerInsuranceChecklist.org. There, they will also find a comprehensive list of additional resources including a full glossary of terms relevant to insurance coverage decisions.

In addition to the Cancer Insurance Checklist, the Cancer Support Community’s toll-free Helpline at 888-793-9355 is available in Spanish for over the phone support during the cancer experience.

The Cancer Insurance Checklist was created through a partnership of the following organizations: The Assistance Fund, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Avalere Health, Cancer Support Community, Chronic Disease Fund, Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation, International Myeloma Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation, Men’s Health Network, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Oncology Nursing Society, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Patient Advocate Foundation, Patient Services, Inc. and Prevent Cancer Foundation. Production costs for the Cancer Insurance Checklist were supported by a grant from Novartis Oncology.

“CSC is honored to work with such an esteemed group of our colleagues on this important project to deliver meaningful information to so many during this time of complex decision-making,” said Linda House, Executive Vice President, External Affairs for the Cancer Support Community. “In addition to the valuable resources offered by each organization, this combined effort ensures that we will reach even more people in need of support, education and tools to help navigate their cancer journey.”

Peggy Rios, Ph.D, Program Director

Dr. Peggy Rios received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland in 1995. She further complemented her training with a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Houston where she focused on intercultural and cross cultural aspects of health. In 1996, she transferred to the University of Miami as a full-time faculty member. After five years studying and teaching about cultural influences on mental health and developing a private practice serving critically ill patients, Dr. Rios transitioned to The Wellness Community – Greater Miami, where she is the program director. The Wellness Community is now known as the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami. In the last nine years, Dr. Peggy Rios has dedicated herself to the growth of Cancer Support Community programs to the benefit of cancer patients and in particular Hispanic underserved patients.

Presenting her work at conferences for the American Psycho-Oncology Society and the International Psycho-Oncology Society as well as for many local organizations, Dr. Rios is also an Adjunct Faculty member at University of Miami. She also facilitates support groups online through the Cancer Support Community National Headquarters.

About the Cancer Support Community

The mission of the Cancer Support Community (CSC) is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. In 2009, The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club joined forces to become the Cancer Support Community. The combined organization, with more than 50 years of collective experience, provides the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer through a network of over 50 licensed affiliates, more than 100 satellite locations and a vibrant online community, touching more than one million people each year.

Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes social and emotional support, the Cancer Support Community offers these services free of charge to men, women and children with any type or stage of cancer and to their loved ones. As the largest, professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community delivers a comprehensive menu of personalized and essential services including support groups, educational workshops, exercise, art and nutrition classes and social activities for the entire family. In 2012, CSC delivered more than $40 million in free services to patients and families. The Cancer Support Community is advancing the innovations that are becoming the standard in complete cancer care. So that no one faces cancer alone.®

For more information, please visit www.cancersupportcommunity.org.