The Washington D.C. foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is applauding new federal rules that include the ability for women to receive free, annual breast cancer screening from insurers.

Effective September 23, 2010, private health insurers will be required to cover preventive and early detection services, including annual screening of mammography for women age 40 and older, with no cost sharing or co-pays in health plans.

In addition, starting 2014, when the state-based health insurance exchanges are established under the new health care law, the same rules will apply to those programs.

However, plans established prior to September 23, 2010 are not subject to the new preventative medicine regulations.
“Today’s announcement is a critical step in ensuring the promise of health reform is delivered to all women,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “This new rule means money will no longer be an obstacle for women who want or need a mammogram. Ultimately, this will save lives.”

Komen notes that 98% of breast cancer patients will survive at least five years if the cancer is discovered before it has spread beyond the breast compared to only 23% when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. 

Visit the Komen Foundation or this link to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for more information.

(Source: Press Release)