Senator Doug Steinhardt is sponsoring legislation that would improve access to ovarian and breast cancer screenings for women.
Sen. Doug Steinhardt is sponsoring legislation that would improve access to ovarian and breast cancer screenings for women. (©iStock)
“It’s shocking that insurance doesn’t always cover preventative screenings for some of the deadliest cancers in women even when recommended by their doctor,” said Steinhardt (R-23). “There shouldn’t be any situation in which a woman who is at risk of breast or ovarian cancer doesn’t have their test covered because of some arbitrary rule set by an insurer. If a doctor says a mammogram, pelvic exam, or other screening is necessary, it should be covered. If this bill is enacted, New Jersey would join Pennsylvania in being a leader in the fight for preventative cancer screenings for women.”
Steinhardt and Senator Anthony M. Bucco have introduced S-3801, which requires health insurers and the State Health Benefits Plan to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses incurred in screening for ovarian cancer for symptomatic women or women at risk of ovarian cancer.
The coverage would be required to include an annual pelvic examination, an ultrasound, and blood testing for cancer markers.
Additionally, Steinhardt has signed on as co-sponsor of a pair of bills that would improve insurance coverage for mammograms.
The first bill, S-586, requires health benefit plans to cover mammograms for an individual if recommended by a health care provider, regardless of age.
The second bill, S-3530, lowers the age at which insurers are required to provide coverage for mammograms from 40 years of age to 35.
“Sadly, too many of us know young women who may have had better outcomes with their cancer had it been caught sooner,” added Steinhardt. “We know that earlier cancer diagnoses can result in simpler treatments, fewer complications, and better recovery rates. That’s really what these bills are all about.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the most common new cancer diagnosis for women, with nearly 300,000 new cases identified each year. More than 66,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed annually, making it the fourth most common cancer diagnosis for women.
Related Facebook Post: