Childhood cancer survivors face ‘job lock’ to keep insurance

Many working adults worry about work-related health insurance, but they don’t let those fears stop them from changing jobs or careers.

But that’s not the case for childhood cancer survivors who are less likely to change jobs for fear of losing their work-related health insurance coverage—a phenomenon called job lock, according to a new national cancer study.  

The Childhood Cancer Survivor study in the Journal of American Medical Association Oncology investigated job lock with more than 500 childhood cancer survivors and their siblings.

The study of the full-time workers found:

  • Of cancer survivors, 23 percent experienced job lock
  • 17 percent of their siblings who had never had cancer experienced job lock

Researchers reported job lock negatively affected their future earnings, career trajectory, and job satisfaction.

Job lock was more common for survivors who had experienced previous health insurance denials and had problems paying medical bills. Female survivors who had serious, disabling, or life-threatening health conditions were more likely to report experiencing job lock, according to the study’s findings.

Reader comments

Mon, Nov 20, 2017

There should not be "job lock" anymore. The Kassebaum-Kennedy act of 1996 was supposed to address that. Specifically: "The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act" (HIPAA) will allow a worker to take his or her insurance coverage to a new job, without restrictions for preexisting medical conditions, if the worker has been continuously insured for 12 months under the previous employer's group insurance plan (this is the socalled group-to-group portability). Source:

Thu, Nov 2, 2017

Insurance companies will take the premium monies and go out of their way to decline claims needed for successful treatment of patients. Blame the medical insurance companies and their presidents and vice presidents needing their new luxury yacht/car at the expense of patients. They also need their %4000 cash bonuses based on the amount of claims denied. I forgot Congress and Senate members and their staff are also in the back pockets of the medical insurance and pharmaceutical firms. Remember they have a great health plan in the works. Both parties are culprits when they tried to create the health coverage plans that are available on the exchange.

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