Assemblymember Cahill Supports Bill Expanding Mammography Coverage

Legislation lowers preventive screening age from 50 to 40
March 8, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) announced legislation he supports requiring individual insurance providers to cover annual mammograms for women starting at age 40. This legislation expands current law that requires group insurance providers to carry this coverage (A.7927).

The New York State Cancer Registry reported that about 2,263 women in their forties are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. "Breast cancer is a disease that strikes down too many women in the prime of their lives. Early detection and screening are the keys to defeating breast cancer," Mr. Cahill said. "Since the chances of survival from this disease depend upon early detection, it is important that all health insurance policies provide adequate mammography coverage. It will save lives."

This legislation builds upon the Women’s Health and Wellness Act of 2002 (Ch. 554 of 2002), which increased a woman’s access to health screenings, improved public education outreach and expanded prescription drug plan coverage.

Assembly fighting to keep health care affordable

Paying for early breast cancer detection can be difficult for women of modest means. There are, however, increasingly more life-saving screenings available to women who cannot afford a mammogram.

"I strongly encourage women to demand important early diagnostic tools that protect them from this disease," Assemblymember Cahill said. "Early prevention and diagnosis, along with appropriate treatment, can play an important role in reducing the devastation of breast cancer."

In 2002, the Assembly expanded Medicaid to provide treatment for women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through the Center for Disease Control Early Detection and Prevention program. For more information about the Healthy Women’s Partnership contact the Ulster County Office at (845) 339-7896 x 12 or the Dutchess County Office at (845) 452-2932.

Here are a few additional helpful breast cancer resources: