Pennsylvania mandates ‘free’ 3D breast cancer screening

The first lady of the Keystone State has announced that all Pennsylvania women will be covered 100 percent for breast tomosynthesis.

The announcement came during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, of which Frances Wolf is honorary chair.

Her husband, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, said the announcement was made in response to questions about whether or not insurers should pay for 3D mammograms the same as they do for the traditional type.

“[M]y administration's answer to this question is an absolute yes,” the governor said in the announcement, which was released by his office.   

Added Frances, “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.”

The governor’s office said the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has heard from “many consumers” complaining about an additional charge for 3D over 2D, typically between $50 and $60, when they’re given the choice.

Others have reported being given a 3D exam without prior discussion, only to later be surprised by a bill for the upgrade.

The state’s insurance commissioner, Teresa Miller, reiterated that her department will now consider all mammograms to be covered under Pennsylvania’s mammography-coverage law.

“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 Miller.