The Health Insurance Assistance Service (HIAS) is a national program established to help cancer patients access or maintain health insurance coverage for which they are eligible. Lessons learned since its inception in 2005 are presented here.
The American Cancer Society addresses the needs of 800,000 cancer patients a year through its National Cancer Information Center. Noticing an upsurge of callers regarding financial and insurance-related questions, the HIAS was initiated. Over 39,400 cases have been handled since the program’s inception, and about 700 cases are handled per month. By offering guidance and direction on additional resources, the HIAS helps patients who are uninsured, underinsured, or those in transition after leaving a job.
Lessons learned from the initiation and management of this program include: