AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 250,000 women in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. At the State Capitol, a bill proposes to require insurance companies to cover the cost of 3D mammograms.
Right now, most insurance companies only cover the cost of 2D mammograms. A new bill proposed by Representative Senfronia Thompson, a breast cancer survivor, wants to mandate all insurance to cover it.
Doctors say 3D mammograms have increased early detection by 56 percent.
Some insurance companies view this technology as ‘investigational’ and that’s one reason they cite for not covering the cost. Right now, both Medicare and Medicaid cover 3D Mammograms as well as United Healthcare, Anthem, Cigna, and BlueCross BlueShield of Texas.
When Anne Hunt opted to pay an extra $60 co-pay for a 3D mammogram last year doctors discovered a pea sized tumor.
“It basically saved my life. If I had gotten the standard mammogram and nothing showed up it would have been another year and then they would have discovered a very invasive form of cancer.”
Hunt had some lymph nodes removed and underwent six weeks of radiation. She believes, if another year had gone by, she would have likely had chemotherapy and her breast removed.
The Texas Association of Business opposes the bill saying all new health benefit mandates could increase costs for businesses and employers.
Supporters will have a 3D Mammography Mobile outside the west side of the Capitol from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to allow the public to view the technology first hand.
The breast cancer mammography bill is currently in a health committee for review.