Breast Cancer Screenings: Saving Women’s Lives

(April 23) – A bill to ensure women have access to all types of breast imaging to help save more women’s lives passed the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee today by a vote of seven to six.

Under current law, a mammogram is one type of breast imaging used for screening and is covered pursuant to state law. But many times further tests are needed for diagnosis that aren’t completely covered and may be cost-prohibitive to the patient. HB13-1309, sponsored by Rep. Dianne Primavera (D-Broomfield), closes this loophole by including all types of medically necessary breast imaging for individuals with at least one risk factor for breast cancer with no cost-sharing for the patients. These risk factors include having a family history of breast cancer, being 40 or older, presenting with symptoms, or having a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.

“As a breast cancer survivor, I understand that early diagnosis is key to survival,” Rep. Primavera said. “The current law’s intent is to aide in early detection but unfortunately because it only covers the initial mammography, up to 50 percent of women, especially younger women, do not return for additional imaging because of the cost and may fall through the cracks and not get the early detection they need. This bill closes that loophole and provides adequate coverage for early detection of breast cancer.”

Under the bill, insurance coverage for breast imaging is not subject to policy deductibles, co-payments, cost-sharing or coinsurance.

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