A new Illinois law requires health insurance coverage for mammograms and other breast cancer screenings in the state.
Senate Bill 162, signed by Gov. JB Pritzker Monday, expands both private insurance and Medicaid to cover several preventative measures for breast cancer detection, including mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs when they are “deemed medically necessary by a physician, advanced practice nurse or physician assistant.”
The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.
"When it comes to breast cancer in the United States, its frequency, proper screening, and mortality vary vastly across racial and ethnic groups. We cannot and should not tolerate the disparities that come from institutional failures," Pritzker said in a statement. "At a time when too many states - and the federal government - are in the business of destabilizing women's health care, Illinois will stand on the side of patients.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, roughly 10,000 women in Illinois are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and the risk has increased for black women and Asian and Pacific Islander women over the last decade, the governor’s office said.
"About 10 percent of initial mammogram results require a subsequent diagnostic mammogram," Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) said in a statement. "The second look can arguably be the most important test in the screening process, so this coverage restriction had to be lifted. This new law could save women's lives."