Committee to Hold Hearing on Breast Cancer Screening Legislation

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 18, to hold a public hearing on legislation that would require health insurance companies cover supplemental breast cancer screening, according to Committee Chairman Senator Don White.

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building in the State Capitol Complex, Harrisburg.

Senate Bill 842, introduced by Senator Bob Mensch, amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921 to extend mandated insurance coverage to ultrasound screening and magnetic resonance imaging if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue based on the Breast Imagining Reporting and Data System established by the American College of Radiology or if a woman is believed to be at increased risk for breast cancer due to family history or prior personal history of breast cancer, positive genetic testing or other indications as deemed medically necessary by the woman’s physician.

While about 40 percent of women who get mammograms have dense breast, almost 95 percent of women are unaware of their own breast density according to a recent poll. Currently insurance companies do not cover these extra screening costs for women with dense breasts. Younger women are more at risk since about 50 percent of women under 50 years of age have dense breast.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the health insurance industry are expected to offer testimony at the public hearing.

Contact:         Joe Pittman     (717) 787-8724       jpittman@pasen.gov