Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has agreed to carry a Susan G. Komen sponsored bill, AB1795, covering the the following:
· Expanding Every Woman Counts (EWC) screening for symptomatic women under 40.
· Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP) coverage for reoccurrence of the same cancer.
· Delete the 18 month treatment coverage limit within the BCCTP.
We need your help!
As we lobby all members of the Assembly Health Committee on AB 1795, we would like to ask for your help by sending a letter of support ASAP and forwarding to anyone you think may be interested in supporting this bill. Please print the letter out here, sign and email it to Lizzie@sdkomen.org.
The fact sheet on the bill is below.
AB 1795: (1) provides that treatment for services under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP) be covered for the duration of the period of treatment due to a diagnosis of breast cancer or cervical cancer, as long as the individual continues to meet all other eligibility requirements; and (2) expands eligibility for breast cancer screening under the Every Woman Counts (EWC) program to symptomatic women under age 40.
Existing law requires the State Department of Health Care Services to perform various health functions, including providing breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment for low-income individuals.
Existing law defines “period of coverage” as beginning when an individual is made eligible for a covered condition and not to exceed 18 or 24 months, respectively, for a diagnosis of breast cancer or a diagnosis of cervical cancer.
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP) provides needed cancer treatment to low-income uninsured or underinsured individuals diagnosed with breast and/or cervical cancer. Currently, the state-funded BCCTP is not aligned with the federally-funded BCCTP, causing gaps in service and treatment for women diagnosed and treated through the state-funded program. Under the state BCCTP, treatment coverage is limited to 18 months for breast cancer and 24 months for cervical cancer. It also includes a provision that denies coverage to a woman who is re-diagnosed with the same cancer in the same tissue. The state BCCTP will, however, cover a subsequent cancer diagnosis if the cancer appears in a different part of the body. The federal BCCTP, on the other hand, has no time limit of coverage and covers a re-diagnosis of cancer.
The Every Woman Counts (EWC) program provides cancer screening services to low-income uninsured or underinsured women. Currently, the EWC program provides breast cancer screening services only for women ages 40 years and older. Thus uninsured or underinsured women presenting breast cancer symptoms, who are under the age of 40, have to find care elsewhere. This makes it more difficult to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.
AB 1795 will help ensure that women have timely access to receive the necessary services to detect and treat their cancers early. This bill allows low-income women in California who are uninsured or underinsured to receive complete treatment for breast and cervical cancer, provides that she is not turned away if she is later diagnosed with the same cancer, and allows women under age 40 who are symptomatic for breast cancer to receive necessary screening services.
Susan G. Komen (sponsor)
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Staff Contact: Agnes Lee (916) 319-2078 Agnes.Lee@asm.ca.gov