Private insurance and Medicaid will now be required to cover several preventative measures to help women detect breast cancer thanks to legislation sponsored by state Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, which was recently signed into law.
“Despite ever growing research on breast cancer and its causes, there are still too many women who don’t take advantage of important preventative measures,” Walker said. “In many cases, women can’t afford the cost of cancer screening or they don’t have access through health insurance. This legislation now requires preventative breast cancer coverage and will hopefully greatly improve access.”
Senate Bill 162, effective Jan. 1, 2020, now requires mammograms, MRIs and ultrasounds to be covered by private insurance and Medicaid if deemed medically necessary by a physician, advanced practicing nurse or physician assistant. The legislation was sponsored by Walker and passed with unanimous support in both the House and Senate.
“Whether it’s guaranteeing women have proper medical care during pregnancy and birth, protecting reproductive healthcare or fighting for equal pay, I’m committed to women’s rights and healthcare,” Walker said. “This legislation is important and will save many more lives from breast cancer. Getting screened is one of the best ways to detect cancers before it’s too late.”
While Senate Bill 162 requires coverage under private insurance and Medicaid, there are still those without insurance in need of screening. Those without coverage are encouraged to call the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Women’s Health-Line at 888-522-1282 for more information.
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