Genetic testing for breast cancer will be covered under the Affordable Care Act, giving more knowledge and power to high risk women and saving them thousands of dollars.
Recently, Myriad Genetics, the company that makes the test for breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, announced that the government now considers these tests to be preventative services.
In the past insurance companies often denied coverage of these tests. Patients paid for testing on their own and then based proactive medical decisions on these test results. Those proactive medical procedures to prevent a cancer occurrence were also denied coverage. This often left women deciding between their health and their finances.
The cost of this testing usually ranges from $300 to $3000. The exact cost depends on how much the genome is analyzed, according to Breastcancer.org. The procedures that women often chose to prevent the seemingly inevitable onset of a cancer diagnosis goes well into six figures.
Women that test positive for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene are at greater risk for breast and ovarian cancers.
Testing positive for the gene gives patients the knowledge to preemptively strike against and disease occurrence by opting to have a mastectomy or a hysterectomy or even both.
Under the Affordable Care Act, private insurance companies are now required to cover the costs of the tests, including co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance, provided that the plan does not have “grandfathered” status.
A plan that is “grandfathered” is a plan that existed on or before March 23, 2010, the date that the Affordable Care was enacted.
While many Americans have a grandfathered plan, health insurance plans are changing all the time. Over time and with the Affordable Care Act becoming fully mandated in 2014 it is believed that more Americans will have plans that allow for these preventative service benefits.
“This is good news because we believe that women should have the best data available to determine their risk of breast cancer and make decisions about their treatment,” said Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a non-profit organization that funds breast cancer research and advocates for patients.
This exciting news is just now reaching the masses of high risk women via social media and conventional news outlets.
You may know a woman who has a strong family history which includes two first degree relatives that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, they are of Ashkenazi Jewish Heritage, or have a first degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force these women should receive genetic testing and counseling.
Some women may be able to have the cost of their genetic testing now covered under health care reform and then Affordable Care Act.
Pass on this valuable information, it could save a life.