In June 2016, the New York legislature passed Senate Bill S8093, that will make breast cancer screening more accessible to women statewide. After receiving unanimous, bipartisan approval in the State Senate, Governor Cuomo signed the bill on June 27.
SHAREing & CAREing applauds this legislation, which directly supports our mission of providing cancer outreach and support to all women and men, especially those with fewer resources to receive proper screening and treatment.
The bill not only improves insurance coverage for early detection of breast cancer, but institutes practical changes that will make it easier for working women to actually undergo screenings, including extending hours for mammography and giving all public employees work leave for screening.
Financially, the bill eliminates cost-sharing requirements for screening—meaning mammograms, MRIs, and breast ultrasounds won’t require co-pays or annual deductibles be met before coverage.
Practically, hospitals and clinics that provide mammograms are required to offer extended hours for at least four hours per week, including early mornings, evenings, or weekend. This is of critical importance for women who work full-time or cannot afford to miss work for an appointment. Additionally, the legislation extends excused leave to all New York City public employees—the same opportunity already granted to public employees statewide—for breast cancer screening.
Each year, approximately 15,000 women and 150 men in New York State are diagnosed with breast cancer. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more effectively it can be treated. By allowing New Yorkers easier access to breast cancer screening, this legislation will improve treatment and save lives.