Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law legislation that expands public and private insurance coverage for breast cancer screenings. State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) was a chief co-sponsor of the legislation.
“Expanding access to breast cancer screenings could save the lives of countless Illinois women,” said Rep. Hammond. “That’s why I was proud to co-sponsor this legislation. This new law will help eliminate barriers to healthcare coverage for women by lowering the cost of breast cancer screenings, which will allow women to get the medical care they need to treat their cancer.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 162 (SB 162), requires private insurance and Medicaid coverage for diagnostic mammograms, MRIs, and ultrasounds when medically necessary as determined by a licensed physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant. Currently, preventative mammograms are required to be included in insurance coverage, but follow-up screenings are not. SB 162 also prohibits deductibles, cost-sharing agreements, and co-pays for diagnostic breast cancer screenings.
SB 162 was an initiative of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The Foundation is concerned that the increasing cost of healthcare is resulting in women forgoing follow-up breast cancer screenings, which may allow incidences of breast cancer to go untreated.
SB 162 passed the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate unanimously this past spring legislative session. The law takes effect on January 1, 2020.