Health insurance companies are using the $3 billion Cancer Action Fund to fund innovative therapies for cancer, a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds.
The fund, set up in the health care law, allows Medicare and Medicaid to contribute up to $500,000 per year toward a plan that is tailored to each individual’s specific needs.
The report, which was released on Wednesday, said the Cancer Action fund could save the federal government about $1 billion over the next decade.
It would be able to fund a plan to treat one-third of all cancer patients.
It is projected to cost Medicare about $3 trillion over the same period.
The CBO’s analysis looked at the Covered California health insurance exchange, which provides health plans to more than 17 million California residents, including nearly all Californians who have Medicare.
It found that a plan with a low deductible, low co-payments, low copayments and no out-of-pocket costs could provide low-cost cancer treatments.
It said the plan could be worth more than $2,000 to the average American family, or about $10,000 for an individual.
The $3,000 annual deductible would be a big boost for many Medicare recipients.
About one in four Medicare beneficiaries is enrolled in the CCO, which is more than half the number in 2010.
The average deductible for a standard plan in the California exchange is $1,500.
The CCO plans were offered in the Kaiser Permanente plan in 2020 and the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield plan in 2021.
The Kaiser plan is the cheapest plan in California.
A number of other programs and services have already been designed with a focus on cancer patients, including cancer-related home visits and cancer screenings.
The federal government has been spending about $20 billion a year on cancer research and treatment.