New Law Requires State Health Benefits Programs To Cover Advanced Breast Cancer Screenings

Former Gov. Chris Christie signed S2793/A4320 into law that requires the State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees Health Benefits Program to cover 3-D mammogram screening for breast cancer.

A 3-D mammogram takes multiple images of breast tissue to recreate a 3-D picture, and is often called tomosynthesis. It’s different from traditional mammography in that traditional mammography obtains just a single image. Images from both technologies are read on a computer. These multiple images make it easier to detect breast cancer.

Medicare began covering 3-D mammograms in 2015, but many health insurance companies considered them to be unnecessary and either would not cover them or hit patients with high surcharges for them. On average, the out-of-pocket cost for a 3-D mammogram is $105, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

“This law ensures that people will have access to the latest state-of-the-art technology available for breast cancer screenings,” said the bill’s sponsor, Robert Auth (R - 39th District), whose wife is a cancer survivor.  “3-D mammograms are an effective tool in the battle against breast cancer. Studies show that these types of screenings have a higher rate of detection than regular mammography alone.”

Original Article