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Lung Cancer Policy & Advocacy

We’re committed to defeating lung cancer and advocating for patients affected by this disease.

The Lung Association supports policies to reduce the risk of lung cancer, increase screening for those at high risk and improve access to treatment. Many of these policies are incorporated into our work on tobacco, healthy air, and healthcare advocacy.

Lung Cancer Screening Coverage

Detecting lung cancer in early stages versus late stage is often the difference between life and death. Low-dose CT scans among those at high risk for lung cancer can help detect this disease earlier and has been shown to reduce the lung cancer death rate by up to 20 percent. The Lung Association is committed to improving access to lifesaving lung cancer screenings.

In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Medicare) approved coverage for low-dose CT scans in high-risk Medicare beneficiaries. The Lung Association testified at a hearing to urge Medicare to cover the lifesaving scans, submitted detailed recommendations and launched an online petition where 17,000 people urged Medicare to cover this critical early detection method. Through additional requirements in the Affordable Care Act for private insurance plans, many Americans who are at high risk for lung cancer now have access to free annual screening.

One of the main gaps in lung cancer screening coverage is through state Medicaid programs. In 2019, the Lung Association launched the State Lung Cancer Screening Coverage Project to improve coverage for lung cancer screening in state Medicaid programs. Learn more in our State Lung Cancer Screening Coverage Toolkit.

LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day

Each year, we bring LUNG FORCE Heroes from across the country to Washington DC to ask their Members of Congress to support policies that help patients with lung cancer. Read Advocacy Day and help amplify the efforts of our LUNG FORCE Heroes this year.

Page last updated: April 1, 2020

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