The ACA and Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

The Affordable Care Act and Cervical Cancer Prevention

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted to safeguard patients and ensure that healthcare services are affordable regardless of the patients' financial circumstances. Cervical cancer has killed many people in the United States of America for many years, and this should be a major concern. One of the primary aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the prevention, control, and treatment of cervical cancer, which provides a financial framework for programs related to cervical cancer prevention. Medicaid, Medicare, and the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program are a few of these programs (NBCCEDP). Affordable Care Act, cervical cancer, Medicaid, Medicare


Cervical cancer had in the last decades been the most common cause of cancer death amongst the America women, but following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the number of deaths caused by cervical cancer has gone down (Schwartz & Claxton, 2010). This is as a result of the preventive and treatment policies which are contained in the ACA under the provisions of the prevention of cervical cancer. To realize this tremendous improvement, there are elements under this provision of the ACA that have played very vital roles. This paper will discuss the roles that are played by the federal laws, self-insured plans, Medicaid, Medicare, National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) and subsidy of the HPV vaccine cost in the prevention of cervical cancer.

Analysis of the Preventive Care

The prevention and treatment of cervical cancer has been taken care of in the ACA under the provisions of the prevention of the cervical cancer based on the improvement of quality and health care system performance, which allowed the states to extend their Medicaid to any woman who is under the age of 65 years and do not have any insurance screened, and found to be in need of the treatment of the cervical or breast cancer (Schwartz & Claxton, 2010). The Act also applies when the female patient is showing some precancerous cervical conditions. The cervical cancer detection and early prevention have been for very many years faced with a lot of financial constraints.

The financial issues can play a very vital role in determining whether the woman will be screened for cervical cancer or not. Hence, low income earning women and their counterparts without healthcare insurance covers are always less likely to be screened (Affordable Care Act, 2010). According to the provisions of the ACA, the different States have the mandate of ensuring that the private insurance companies, Medicaid, and public employee healthcare plans continuously play for the Pap test screening. Even though the coverage of the screening tests for the cervical cancer is mandated ACA, it still does not apply to the health plans which were in place before the passing of the law (Sabik & Adunlin, 2017). Based on the fact that the Affordable Care Act provides for the screening tests of cervical cancer, it is therefore important to note that this initiative will help in the early detections of cervical cancer hence making the process of its prevention and treatment to be manageable.

The ACA also governs the Self-Insured Health plans (which pay for the health care costs from their funds), therefore this Act also require these types of insurance plans to cover for the cervical cancer screening, with the only exceptions being those insurance plans which were in effect before the ACA implementation (Affordable Care Act, 2010). It is therefore important for the women who have self-insured based health insurance to refer to their various health plans to identify the specific types of cervical cancer screening services which are offered. According to the policies of the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid programs which were enrolled in all of the 50 states and the District of Columbia have the mandate of covering for the screening of cervical cancer. This can be done in two ways; routinely or following the recommendations of the doctors.

The Affordable Care Act also ensures that the Medicaid services are adequately spread to the remote areas of the states. This is made possible by enabling the states to offer community and home-based services through the Medicaid plan instead of through a relinquishment for individuals who have higher levels of need (Sabik & Adunlin, 2017). This plan ensures that the medical services are adequately offered to those who are in need, like the cervical cancer patients through home or community-based service delivery. Just like the Medicaid, Medicare also provides for the screening Pap test, pelvic examinations, and clinical breast examination coverage after every two years for the Medicaid beneficiaries.

A special care is provided for under the Affordable Care Act to ensure that the women of childbearing age, who are at risk for cervical or vaginal cancer, are covered by Medicare for screening every year, and that the screening is provided for without the co-pay, co-insurance or deductible providing she goes to the hospital which accepts Medicare (Affordable Care Act, 2010). It has been possible for all of the states to provide cervical cancer screening to the women without health insurance at zero or lower costs through the NBCCEDP. Based on the fact that the human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the leading cause of cervical cancer, the ACA has made it possible for the insurance plans to finance the costs of HPV vaccination, in compliance with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approvals and it is also included in the federal Vaccine for Children (VFC) prerogative program.

Roles of Professional Nurse in Cervical Cancer Prevention

Professional nurses have the responsibility to ensure that all of the health care service-based provisions of the Affordable Care Act on the prevention of the cervical cancer are strictly adhered to. In that case, they will play an essential role in ensuring continuous health care service delivery to all of the women who are vulnerable to suffering from cervical cancer (Schwartz & Claxton, 2010). This can be done when they reach out to every woman, including those in the remote areas, to educate them about cervical cancer effects, treatment, and prevention. In a more specific manner, these professional nurses have the duty of ensuring that women undergo Pap screening and after that adhere to its recommendations accordingly.

Summary and Conclusion

The Affordable Care Act under the provisions of improving quality and health care system performance provides for policies which help in the prevention of cervical cancer amongst women who are highly vulnerable of being affected by this type of cancer, more so those who in the childbearing age or with less than 65 years. The process of cervical cancer prevention and screening had been in the past years faced with a lot of financial problems, which is not a big issue currently after the Affordable Care Act became operational (Sabik & Adunlin, 2017). This has been made possible through governance of the self-insured health plans to ensure that they cover for the cervical cancer screening, as a measure towards early detection and prevention. The Act also categorically provides for specific roles that would be played with the Medicaid, Medicare and the NBCCEDP on the prevention of cervical cancer.


Affordable Care Act. (2010). Summary of the Affordable Care Act. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from

Sabik, L., & Adunlin, G. (2017). The ACA and Cancer Screening and Diagnosis. The Cancer Journal, 23(3), 151-162.

Schwartz, K., & Claxton, G. (2010). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Cancer Journal, 16(6), 572-576.

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