Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation that will aid breast cancer survivors during their recovery. Legislation (A.8537/S.7881) will ensure that breast cancer survivors that choose to have chest reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy or partial mastectomy have proper insurance coverage. The Governor signed the bill during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed in October.
"Breast cancer survivors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by our health care system," Governor Hochul said. "Women who choose chest wall reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy will now have insurance coverage for the procedure and the necessary information to select this option. I am proud to sign this law during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and urge every woman in New York to get a mammogram this year."
Legislation (A.8537/S.7881) ensures that breast cancer survivors that choose to have chest reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy or partial mastectomy have proper insurance coverage for the operation. Under this new law, both breast reconstruction and chest wall reconstruction will be covered by insurance, giving women a choice in how they want their post-mastectomy bodies to look. The law also will ensure doctors discuss the option of chest wall reconstruction with their patient so she can make an informed decision.
Roughly one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the course of their lifetimes, and many undergo mastectomies or partial mastectomies as part of their treatment to remove their cancer. After a mastectomy or partial mastectomy, some women choose breast reconstruction surgeries while others choose chest wall reconstruction surgery; previously, the law had only required insurance to cover breast reconstruction but not chest wall reconstruction, which was classified as "cosmetic" by many insurers.
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, "We believe women deserve autonomy over their own bodies. If a woman undergoes a mastectomy to combat breast cancer, they have the right to choose from all post-surgery options. If a woman chooses to undergo chest wall reconstruction it should be covered by insurance, in the same manner as breast reconstruction. I am proud to have sponsored this legislation with Assemblywoman Pheffer-Amato, and I thank Governor Hochul for signing it into law."
Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer-Amato said, "Today New York makes history as being the first State in the country to provide women with this coverage. This law gives women a choice on how they want their post-mastectomy body to look. Thank you Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law, and to Senator Toby Ann Stavisky for championing this through the Senate and being a great leader. Our State has taken a tremendous step forward by showing that we don't just want women with breast cancer to survive, we want to see them thrive."