Contact: Lawrence Cook
May 20, 2011
State Sen. Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford) today voted for a bill that requires certain health insurance policies to cover magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of a woman’s entire breast or breasts if a standard mammogram indicates a problem, such as high density breast tissue.
The bill passed the Senate today on a unanimous and bipartisan vote; it now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The bill was supported at its public hearing by breast cancer survivors, by the Radiology Society of Connecticut, and by The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, which testified that 40 percent of Connecticut's population—1.4 million Connecticut women over the age of 18—are at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, and that women with high density breast tissue are four to five times more likely to develop cancer than women with low density.
“This bill is important not only to the wives and mothers and daughters across Connecticut, but to their husbands and brothers and sons as well,” Sen. LeBeau said. “This is a common-sense bill that seeks to reduce costs and improve outcomes through preventative care.”
Under current state law, insurance policies offered for sale in the state must already cover a breast ultrasound screening if a mammogram shows heterogeneous or dense breast tissue a woman is considered at an increased breast cancer risk because of family history, her own prior breast cancer history, positive genetic testing, or other indications determined by her physician or advanced-practice registered nurse.
By law, policies must cover a baseline mammogram for a woman age 35 to 39 and a yearly mammogram for a woman age 40 or older.
The bill applies to individual and group health insurance policies that cover basic hospital expenses; basic medical-surgical expenses; major medical expenses; and hospital or medical services, including those provided by HMOs.
Member: Legislative Management
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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