Provisions For Cancer Screening Tests In The New Health Law


If left untreated, cancer is invariably fatal. However, if diagnosed at an early or primordial stage then the survival rate of cancer patients increases dramatically. Taking our life style into account, most of us are at an increased risk of developing cancer. Eating habits, lifestyle choices, working environment, almost every aspect of our modern life exposes us to this fatal disease.

In a recent survey it was found that majority of people shy away from cancer screening procedures for two main reasons:

  1. They think that they don’t have cancer and might not develop it in near future.
  2. Some people find the cost of screening tests unaffordable. It is true that the cost of a spiral computed tomography is very high and not everyone can afford regular CT Scans.

The first reason is more of a personal one as you cannot be compelled to walk in to a hospital and get a cancer screening test. However the second reason is addressable and has been addressed in the new Affordable Care Act. Let us take a look at how the new health law helps in cancer screening.

  • Free breast cancer screening:

The new Affordable Care Act makes it mandatory for the insurance companies to cover the expenditures related to breast cancer and its preventive or screening tests. It’s not a secret that breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer that affects women, even though it is also found in men, but only rarely. It’s the women who are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer.

The initial tests for breast cancer can be done by a physical examination alone, but a more detailed and accurate diagnosis can be made only with the help of a biopsy and other related screening procedures. The cost of such procedures can hinder the will of a patient to go for screening tests. For this reason the law makes it clear that all health insurance providers must cover all the expenses related to breast cancer screening.

  • Cervical cancer:

Along with the breast cancer, cervical cancer shares the top position for being the most of common form of cancer affecting women. The most commonly reported symptom of cervical cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding, but in many cases it has been reported that no obvious signs or symptoms were reported until the cancer progressed to a more advanced or fatal stage.

Hence it becomes extremely important for women to get regular screening tests for cervical cancer. The Affordable Care Act makes it clear that all health insurance companies must cover all the screening tests that can help in diagnosing of the cervical cancer at an early stage. These tests include both Pap test and more advanced screening procedures.

  • Lungs cancer:

Smoking is the number one reason for lungs cancer. Every year thousands of Americans fall prey to lungs cancer. Smoking is a socially accepted addiction, hence its menace is even bigger. Many smokers are either afraid to get a screening test or just cannot afford it. It must be noted that if diagnosed at an early stage, lungs cancer can be treated effectively. The new law has made provisions for free screening tests for lungs cancer, this includes the highly expensive CT scan too.

Brianna Wilson works for Healthcare Solutions Team. She is licensed with over 40 major health insurance companies and helps people to select best health plans for their family.