Public hearing held for bill proposed to expand insurance coverage for breast cancer screening

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s breast cancer rates are the second-highest in the nation.

Advocates sounded off virtually Thursday in a public hearing, urging the legislature to expand coverage this session.

There’s no vaccine for breast cancer. Those who know the terror say the best defense is early detection, and they say Connecticut laws fall short.

Jan Kritzman of Newington, testified, saying, “A very tiny, early-stage breast cancer. Very aggressive breast cancer. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones. We can’t base breast health on being lucky.”

The legislature’s insurance committee held a virtual hearing on a bill that would expand coverage of efforts to detect early-stage breast cancer. It’s not the first time they’ve tackled this issue.

Now, they say more needs to be done to ensure diagnostic screenings are covered. They say House Bill 6626 would do that.

State Senator Matt Lesser said, “In some cases, it’s because they have insurance not regulated by the state…or it’s Medicare. In some cases, though it’s because of this diagnostic/screening issue.”

State Senator Tony Hwang added, “I think we have to do a much better job in recognizing the unique challenge of that.”

Advocates say many of the vital screenings and tests which early detect breast cancer are delayed due to the out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

Kritzman knows this all too well. She says this bill would make it more affordable.

Kritzman said, “I think that would eliminate a lot of the confusion and it would help in detecting early, early-stage breast cancer.

The bill will also impact expand coverage of services like getting a wheelchair or hearing loss surgery.

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