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New Ohio bill would require insurance, Medicaid to cover breast cancer screenings

Breast Cancer Screening
Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 07, 2021

CINCINNATI — Ohio state lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill that would ensure all women have full access to breast cancer screenings, giving them a better chance at early detection.

House Bill 371 would require insurance companies and Medicaid to cover the cost of supplemental breast screenings for patients who have dense breast tissue — which can make cancer harder to find — or elevated risk of breast cancer.

"This bill ensures more women have a better chance at early detection and not only beating breast cancer but living a long and healthy life,” said state Rep. Jean Schmidt, who co-sponsored the bill alongside Rep. Sedrick Denson of Cincinnati.

Kim Farrell, a local breast cancer patient who finished her sixth heavy-duty chemotherapy treatment Tuesday, said she might not have discovered her cancer without high-tech screenings.

"I hit calcifications, and they were so tiny and posterior that I wouldn't have found them myself,” Farrell said. “So that's just another reason to get those annual mammograms, you know, because sometimes you can't detect them, you can't feel them yourself."

Farrell encourages all women, everywhere, to begin annual breast cancer screenings. Now that she’s done with her most intensive treatment, she has a year of maintenance chemotherapy ahead.

"I'm not saying it's been super easy, but I really can't complain,” she said. “I mean, people have it so much worse. There's so many things that strive me to stay positive and just work through this, and I know I can do this. "