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Mammograms

  • Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) expanding insurance coverage for diagnostic mammograms has been signed into law by the governor.

    Currently, insurance covers an initial screening mammogram without any co-pay or cost sharing. If dense breast tissue or an abnormality is detected, a doctor will want a second look with a more comprehensive ultrasound (diagnostic) mammogram, and a co-pay is applied. In Illinois, those co-pays can run from $600 to $700, which could discourage women from getting that screening.

    “A diagnostic mammogram should be covered in the same manner as a routine screening mammogram,” Holmes said. “About 10 percent of initial mammogram results require a subsequent diagnostic mammogram, which can arguably be the most important test in the screening process. This new law can save lives.”

  • new laws 0915With this year’s main session of the General Assembly over, Illinois has several new laws that could make a significant impact on your daily life.

    If you have kids, enjoy after-work cocktails or are a veteran, you should definitely check out our list of the most important and interesting new laws that took effect this summer.

  • mulroe 3d passedSPRINGFIELD – Thanks to new screening methods such as tomosynthesis, breast cancer occurrences have been steadily decreasing since the early 2000s. A new law sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) adding the screening method to the list of covered low-dose screenings was signed today by the governor.

    “This is a medically proven screening method that increases detection rates and because of its sensitivity, helps reduce unnecessary call backs during an already stressful time,” Mulroe said. “It is a good practice to keep the medical industry moving forward when the technology is available.”

    Previous technologies only took a single dimension view of breast tissue when screening for cancerous cells. Tomosynthesis, also known as a 3D mammogram, takes a multidimensional view of the breast during the screening. As a result, a 3D mammogram has a higher success rate of detecting cancerous cells that are often difficult to detect, due to either size or dense breast tissue.

    Senate Bill 54 amends the insurance code by adding tomosynthesis to the list of definitions of low-dose mammograms. As a result, the insurance mandate will cover 3D mammograms as well as the traditional 2D mammograms.

    “This law will not only help save lives of at-risk women who may not have known about this technology or may not have been previously covered, but also save them from additional stress and discomfort,” Mulroe said. “It is our duty to protect the health and well-being of people in this state, and if we can save them time, money and emotional hardship then that is a bonus.”

    The law becomes effective July 1, 2016.