House Committee Unanimously Approves Bill to Include Breast Exams in Health Insurance Coverage

(Apr. 9) — The House Health and Insurance committee passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, and Rep. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, that would require women’s preventative health, which is already mandated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to include follow-up diagnostic procedures for women with increased risk factors for contracting breast cancer without any additional costs or co-pays by the patient.

“We already know that early detection is key to both saving women’s lives and also lowering health insurance costs,” said Rep. Michaelson Jenet. “We need to provide coverage for women on these exams so they no longer have to decide between the cost of their screening and the cost of their life. We are giving people the option to act instead of having to react.”

HB19-1301 would require health insurance to cover any breast imaging performed after a breast cancer screening study comes back and requires additional testing within the same calendar year. This can be based on factors including a high lifetime risk or an individual’s healthcare provider indicating that further imaging is necessary.

“When women are given the resources to detect early signs of breast cancer, this will in turn save lives of the patients and save health insurance companies money,” said Rep. Buckner. “Patients can take the proper steps to get healthy and avoid costly procedures to treat their cancer.”

The 2010 ACA defined benefits for individually purchased health insurance. It included covering one breast exam screening per year, but did not extend to covering a breast exam if further analysis or tests are needed.

The bill passed the committee unanimously and the bill now heads to House floor.

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