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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release October 18, 1993

SECURE, COMPREHENSIVE CARE

BREAST CANCER COVERAGE UNDER THE HEALTH SECURITY PLAN

Women are increasingly the victims of life-threatening illness, yet still are at the bottom of our medical research agenda. Funding for research into breast and ovarian cancers, osteoporosis and other diseases remains inadequate. Of all the health problems American women face, however, breast cancer is the deadliest.

The Facts on Breast Cancer in America:

The Health Security Act addresses women's health care seriously and comprehensively, guaranteeing coverage to all women, regardless of health status, marital status, employment status, or ability to pay. Specifically, the Health Security Plan will cover a schedule of preventive screenings, tests and checkups at no cost, protection available in only a few of today's insurance policies.

               BREAST CANCER EARLY DETECTION AND CARE COVERAGE 
                        UNDER THE HEALTH SECURITY PLAN

Medically necessary or appropriate care: Women of any age can receive clinical services, including clinical breast exams, and mammograms at any time when they are medically necessary or appropriate with cost sharing as specified by their plan.

Care for women at risk: Women of any age who are defined to be at risk of breast cancer by the National Health Board will receive additional visits, including clinical breast exams, and mammograms at a schedule appropriate to their risk status with no cost sharing.

Care for all women: All women receive regular clinician visits, including clinical breast exams, every three years from age 20 - 39 and every two years from age 40 - 64 with no cost-sharing. All women will also receive routine screening mammograms every two years, beginning at age 50, with no cost sharing.

In addition, the following services are covered for pap smears:

Pap/pelvic exams are covered annually for women who have reached childbearing age and are at risk of cervical cancer as part of clinical preventative services with no cost-sharing. Once three negative smears are obtained, pap smears are covered every three years for women age 20 - 39 and every two years for women 40 and above. If the patient is at risk for fertility-related infectious illnesses, pap smears may be covered more frequently.

Additional pap smears: Additional, or more frequent pap smears may be done at any time they are medically necessary or appropriate. In these cases, the services are covered with cost-sharing as is any other medical procedure.

SUPPORTING WOMEN'S HEALTH RESEARCH
UNDER THE HEALTH SECURITY PLAN

The clinical preventive services package will be supported by significant increases in investments in breast cancer research.

Additional increased funding for early detection and preventive services is available through the following agencies, which have increased investment in their own breast cancer research programs:

Under reform, new research initiatives will concentrate in prevention of many illnesses affecting large numbers of women, including mental health, reproductive health and osteoporosis.

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