Laws and Protections
FORCE has expert knowledge of the laws and public policies that affect people and families facing hereditary cancer and advocates for this community.

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Privacy, Policy & Legal Issues > Laws & Protections

Laws and Protections That Apply to Our Community

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act greatly expanded health insurance availability and consumer protections in the U.S. The law contains several provisions that benefit people impacted by cancer, banning the practice of charging more or denying health insurance coverage, barring annual or lifetime dollar limits on most benefits, and more. This section provides specifics on the ACA and how it affects our community.
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Privacy & Nondiscrimination

The U.S. has a patchwork of national and state laws that help protect the privacy of Americans' health and genetic information, and prevent certain types of discrimination based on that data. Learn about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), federal laws that safeguard private health information.
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Medical Leave & Disability

People undergoing cancer-related surgery or treatment may need to take advantage of medical leave or disability programs. This section covers the Family and Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act as well as disability insurance. We provide basics on the federal laws, a description of federal, state and private disability insurance options, and additional resources.
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Women's Health & Cancer
Rights Act

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) is a federal law providing certain rights and protections to patients after a mastectomy. WHCRA requires most health insurers that cover mastectomies to also cover breast reconstruction, prostheses and physical complications. Despite the title, benefits are not limited to cancer patients or women. Anyone considering a mastectomy should understand the law’s fundamentals.
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Grievances & Complaints

If you believe your rights have been violated, you have the option to file a complaint with the appropriate oversight agency. Here, we provide information on where to file a grievance for violations of specific laws—the Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act—or ethics concerns about labs doing genetic testing.
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