Employment Insurance and Economic Issues

Features that are recommended by the IOM to be part of the survivorship care plan that likely go beyond what cancer physicians view as current usual practice include information on the possible effects of cancer on marital/partner relationships, work, parenting, and the potential future need for psychosocial support. It also counsels that providers should furnish information on the potential insurance, employment, and financial consequences of cancer. For example, despite the Americans with Disabilities Act, some cancer survivors suffer discrimination in job loss, hiring, extension of benefits, or the ability to acquire affordable health insurance. One of the anticipated benefits of thinking about these nonmedical issues is that it might prompt, as necessary, referral to counseling, legal aid, and financial assistance. As these are often not areas of expertise for oncology providers, much of this may be initiated by giving patients a directory of cancer-related resources (e.g., online or telephone listings) and/or information in the form of general information brochures. Raising these issues with patients will at least let them know that help is available should they need it.

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