Childhood cancer survivors face job lock more often than siblings, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.
Researchers from pediatric cancer treatment centers across the United States and Canada examined the effects of childhood cancer treatment on adult employment. They identified the prevalence of job lock—staying at a job to keep work-related health insurance—among childhood cancer survivors and compared their employment data to that of a random sample of siblings.
Among the 522 study participants, 394 were survivors (54.5% men) and 128 were siblings (51.5% men). Job lock was reported by 23.2% of survivors compared with 16.9% of siblings.
The researchers found that job lock was more common among survivors reporting previous health insurance denial and difficulties paying medical bills. Job lock was also more frequent among women and in survivors who had a severe, disabling, or life-threatening health condition.
“Job lock is common among long-term childhood cancer survivors who are employed full-time,” wrote the authors. These survivors may be hesitant to change employment because of health insurance and financial implications.
This study underscores the need to eliminate pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny or penalize (eg, increased health insurance premiums) childhood survivors’ access to continued health insurance in adulthood.c