Legislature looks to expand insurance coverage for women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer

This week, the Senate heard a proposal that would expand Medical Assistance for Breast or Cervical Cancer (MA-BC) coverage to persons diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer by any CDC National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program in the state.

MA-BC provides insurance coverage to uninsured or under-insured Minnesotans who are in need of treatment services for breast or cervical cancer or pre-cancer of the cervix but are not otherwise eligible for MA.  Under current state law, MA-BC only covers those who have been screened by the Minnesota cancer control program called SAGE. This bill will expand access to include other CDC funded programs in Minnesota, such as the American Indian Cancer Foundation’s screening program.  We know that American Indian populations are less likely to be screened for cancer and more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage; this bill will reduce barriers to critical screening and treatment options for those who need it.  (SF 3121)