The new policies, to be sold by marketplaces also called insurance exchanges, must cover testing for mutation in the BRCA genes for high-risk patients. People with those mutations have increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Also included in the policy are annual mammograms for women over the age of 40 as well as chemo-prevention for women at higher risk of breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, 234,580 will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,030 will die from it this year.
Pam Anderson, the services program coordinator at the University Hospital Breast Health Center, said the main problem was not so much the uninsured but the under-insured.
“There are still insurance companies out there that don’t pay for mammograms. There are people that have high deductibles and they have to meet their deductible first,” Anderson explained.
She added that the "scariest part" for her was that in the case of BRCA mutations, the increased risk of ovarian cancer becomes critical because its much harder to detect than breast cancer.
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