HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Lady Frances Wolf today announced that 3D mammograms will be covered by insurance under existing state law and must be provided to Pennsylvania women at no cost. The announcement, which establishes that insurers must treat 3D mammograms the same as traditional two-dimensional mammograms when determining healthcare coverage, came during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition in Harrisburg.
"This modern technology is offering new opportunities for physicians to diagnose breast cancer in women and provide life-saving treatment earlier than ever," said Governor Tom Wolf. "Questions have arisen as to whether 3D mammograms should be covered by insurance in the same manner that traditional mammograms are. Today, I am announcing that my administration's answer to this question is an absolute yes."
"Three-dimensional mammograms are another way to provide vital preventive healthcare to women," First Lady Frances Wolf, who is the honorary chair of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. "Women must be able to receive services like these at no cost. Nearly all breast cancers can be successfully treated if found early and this is another tool to make early detection possible. This administration is committed to providing the best care to Pennsylvanians, and we are proud to make this announcement during Breast Cancer Awareness Month."
Three-dimensional mammograms, a service also known as "tomosynthesis," are becoming more common as many health care facilities in Pennsylvania are replacing 2D mammography with 3D technology. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has heard from many consumers that when given the choice of a 2D or 3D mammogram, the 3D option comes with an additional charge – typically between $50 and $60 – whereas the 2D mammogram would be free. Other consumers have reported being given a 3D mammogram without any discussion of their alternatives and receiving a surprise bill for the additional fee.
"Governor Wolf is taking a strong stand for women's health by ensuring that women can have the benefit of the latest healthcare technology," said Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller. "With the adoption of this policy, my department will consider all mammograms to be covered under Pennsylvania's law, which means they must be provided at no cost to the consumer."
Any consumer with questions about insurance coverage should visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website at www.insurance.pa.gov, and click on "Consumers."
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
Ron Ruman, Insurance Department, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor