This week, I introduced a bill that will ensure women have affordable access to essential breast screenings. This bill builds on previous legislation I authored that requires places that perform mammograms to provide a breast density notification to women along with the results of their mammogram.
Over 40% of women have dense breast tissue and are four to six times more likely to get breast cancer. Not only is dense tissue a risk factor for breast cancer, but it also conceals tumors that should be identified in a mammogram. For women with dense tissue, a mammogram alone is not always enough to determine the presence of cancer. With this information, women will be able to proactively discuss their options with their healthcare providers.
While mammograms are covered by insurance, additional essential screenings like an MRI or ultrasound can leave women with high out-of-pocket costs, averaging between $250 to $1,084 per screening. These costs are a barrier to women who need additional screenings.
My bill requires insurance policies to cover essential breast screenings for women with dense breast tissue and women at high risk of breast cancer, with a maximum out-of-pocket cost of $50. I am currently seeking co-sponsors on this legislation.