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Insurance-Related and Financial Challenges Reported by Managed Care Enrollees With Breast Cancer

Rachel Klimmek
Denise Snow
Jennifer Wenzel
CJON 2010, 14(5), 598-606 DOI: 10.1188/10.CJON.598-606

Cancer survivors in the United States often encounter significant challenges in obtaining and paying for medical care. Multiple research studies have examined these issues in Medicare and Medicaid populations and the underinsured, but very little is known about insurance-related challenges encountered by cancer survivors enrolled in private insurance programs such as managed care. This secondary analysis of data explored the insurance-related and financial challenges reported by women enrolled in a managed care organization during cancer treatment and early follow-up. The researchers reviewed semistructured interviews with 14 women with breast cancer near the time of diagnosis, midway through treatment, and after treatment completion. Most women reported considerable stress related to performance of insurance-related tasks during or immediately after treatment, which resulted in negative emotional and psychological experiences. This article presents recommendations for how oncology nurses can intervene to assess and address these challenges and their effects. Future research should examine best practices related to nursing management of insurance-related and financial challenges during cancer.

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