I'm not trying to be confrontational here BUT.....the following statement is NOT correct for every situation:
"In exchange for those $12k you get access to any approved therapies, limited wait times compared to other health systems and access to top oncologists."
If you live in a state that runs its own exchange, you are bound to purchase insurance via that particular state exchange. Many policies don't cover every 'approved' therapy.....the policy just doesn't do it and yes, I have friends who have found that to be the case. Not only that but not every ACA policy covers 'access to top oncologists'....they simply don't. Too often, a person is restricted to what doctors are 'in network' or are approved by the particular plan. Not every state offers a ton of options for people purchasing ACA plans. I'm NOT saying ACA plans are all bad....but the more affordable ones do tend to have higher deductibles, and as I mentioned earlier, for the most part, those deductibles MUST be met first before any care is covered. That can be a LOT of money for someone who doesn't have an unlimited supply of money. In addition, IF the person qualifies for a subsidy, that subsidy is ONLY available on certain, middle of the road plans. In other words, the GOLD plans or better....the ones that more closely emulate the traditional employer sponsored plan....are 'off limits' if you are getting a subsidy. Sure, you can purchase them, but most often, if you do....no subsidy!
It's difficult to tell from the original poster's signature what the diagnosis is. It could be a stage III or stage IV, depending on where the suspicious lymph nodes are located. Medicare/SS disability may or may not be an option at this point in the game. Even IF the OP has a stage IV diagnosis, Medicare won't kick in for two years so best to keep the COBRA for as long as possible.
To the OP....I wish you the best of luck. Cancer is an insidious disease and the monetary issues are just one part of the equation. Look at ALL the options for health insurance and make decisions responsibly. While the cost of insurance is most definitely a major issue, please look carefully at other things.....deductibles, networks, drug coverage.....all of it. Make sure that even your present GP is covered.....because honestly, during this time, you'll want some doctor that you're comfortable with to be in your 'court' and if you have to start changing everything.....that's not going to help you in the long run.