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News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: October 17, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Dave Jones Announces Important Benefits For Women In Affordable Care Act
Insurance Coverage/Education for Breast Cancer Prevention
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that one of the important benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), already in place, is that those with health insurance can take advantage of preventive services, including breast cancer screenings, without a co-payment or deductible. The ACA helps make prevention affordable and accessible for all Californians by requiring health plans to cover recommended preventive services without cost sharing. This provision only applies to newer plans - those that were not in effect in March 2010.
"Prevention is a cornerstone of national health care reform," said Commissioner Jones. "Studies show that women need these preventive health care services but cannot always afford to pay for them. I am pleased that the Affordable Care Act provides access to lifesaving preventative health care services to women with health insurance. I am also pleased that the Every Woman Counts program continues to provide women in California with breast cancer screening and diagnostic services they could not otherwise afford," continued Jones.
In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Commissioner Jones points out that the portion of the ACA that relates to breast health and cancer has a strong education component that emphasizes the following:
- a public education campaign to increase awareness of young women's knowledge regarding health and health habits, risk factors, detection and the availability of breast health information and resources;
- a health care professionals education campaign to increase awareness among physicians and health care professionals;
- prevention research activities and support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Commissioner Jones reminds Californians that state law dictates that women have the right under their insurance coverage to be given mammograms for breast cancer screenings beginning at age 35. According to state insurance code, women 35 to 39 are entitled to a baseline mammogram. Women age 40 to 49 can get a mammogram every two years or more frequently if their physician recommends it, and women 50 and older are to be provided a mammogram every year. California insurers are allowed to require a co-pay/deductible for mammograms. The state's Every Woman Counts program provides screenings to women without private insurance coverage. Information about eligibility for the Every Woman Counts program is available through the California Department of Public Health.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.