Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today called a ruling from a U.S. District Court in Texas court on preventive care requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a threat to millions of women nationwide accessing needed breast health services.
The court’s decision removes a requirement from the ACA that insurers fully cover the cost of several breast cancer-related services. Coverage of routine screening mammograms without patient cost is now uncertain in light of this ruling. The ruling would also eliminate no-cost coverage of genetic counseling and testing for populations at higher risk of inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, which puts people at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Additionally, the ruling would reinstate patient out-of-pocket costs for risk-reducing medications for women who are at increased risk for breast cancer.
“The Affordable Care Act made it possible for most women to receive free, routine screening mammograms to aid in the early detection of breast cancer,” said Molly Guthrie, VP of Policy and Advocacy at Susan G. Komen. “Today’s ruling could reinstate out-of-pocket costs for screening mammograms and additional needed services, potentially costing women hundreds of dollars. This ruling, should it be allowed to go into effect, represents a major step back in removing barriers to needed breast health care, and could result in an increase in preventable deaths.”