New York bill would expand coverage for breast cancer screenings

Spectrum News 1

December 22, 2023

Two New York state lawmakers announced legislation Thursday that would expand coverage for breast cancer screenings and bolster early detection for women at higher risk.

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A bill from Democratic state Sen. John Mannion and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright would expand insurance coverage for women in New York to those with second-degree family members, like grandmothers, granddaughters, aunts or nieces, who have had breast cancer.

Current state law enacted in 1989 includes age and other limits, and mammography insurance coverage covers only first-degree family member history.

“Early detection is the key to beating breast cancer and we know that unfortunately, this is a disease that runs in families," Mannion said. "This bill updates laws that were passed over thirty years ago to reflect modern science and our current understanding of breast cancer treatment. All women, particularly those at high risk, should have insurance coverage for these vital and potentially life-saving screenings.”

“I am proud to be Lead Sponsor in the Assembly on legislation to expand eligibility for breast cancer screening to more New Yorkers with family history of breast cancer," Seawright said. "Over 15,000 women across NY will be diagnosed with this terrible disease this year.  It is the most-commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Early detection is key. This bill will increase access to screenings, early diagnosis and treatment to save lives.”

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