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Law covering diagnostic breast cancer detection could save lives

On Monday Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law that will require insurance companies to cover the costs of diagnostic tests associated with breast cancer.

Pritzker signs law expanding coverage for mammograms

“I prolonged going to the doctor because I didn’t have time and I was concerned about how expensive cancer was going to be. That’s the truth,” breast cancer survivor Katie Parker said. “Now seven years later I want to shake 30-year-old Katie and say ‘that was non-sense’ but I get it.”

Parker is also the P.R. and Marketing Director for the Susan G. Komen Memorial Affiliate, a breast cancer advocacy group that helped bring this bill to Springfield. The group did a community profile and data they collected from it is what Missions Director Gayle Young said they took to local legislators.

“One of the issues that we identified is that women were getting screened with their screening mammogram and if they got a callback and needed a diagnostic mammogram they weren’t going back because with that diagnostic co-pay and deductibles kick in,” Young explained.

The Center for Disease and Control reports that 1 in every 4 deaths in America is due to cancer.

“Waiting could have cost me my life and that’s expensive too. It’s all expensive. I don’t dwell on it but all the time I think what if I had waited four more months,” Parker said.

“As a survivor, I’m just really excited about this [law] so that now if they have to take it a step further their insurance will cover it.”

The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

Stephanie Rodriguez

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