Insurance companies have entirely too much power to accept or deny coverage of cutting edge techniques. Although it might be understandable to refuse to cover an unproven or controversial technique, an insurance company should not be able to refuse treatment simply because the newness or the cost. People deserve coverage that will help them cure or manage their cancer.
Most of the current, successful medical techniques that we now take for granted were once considered to be cutting-edge procedures. Breast cancer, for instance, was one detected through a manual examination and x-rays. Mammograms, developed in the 1960s, weren't officially endorsed by the American Cancer Society until 1976. Mammograms are now a standard part of a woman's routine physical examination. The latest technology is the 3D mammogram, which reveals even more detail, but all insurances do not cover the extra cost. Eventually, this cutting-edge technology will be commonplace in women's health care.
Cancer is becoming an epidemic in the U.S. and other countries. The technology is readily available to combat it, but treatments are often extremely costly and can be detrimental to a patient's well-being in itself. Cutting-edge technology should certainly be covered under more insurance plans. It is ridiculous to make potentially life-saving technologies available only to the very rich.
Insurance companies should offer a wider range of treatment options for a wide variety of illnesses including cancer. Traditional treatments, while effective in some cases, may not be the best or even the most cost effective treatment option available, but are sometimes not approved by insurance companies simply because it isn't on an approved list the company has or the company requires other methods to be tried first. The best interest of the patient and their doctor(s) opinions should come before the insurance company's bottom line.