At Advocate Lutheran General Hospital today, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 466 to require insurance plans in Illinois, including Medicaid, to cover breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography.
“Too many Illinois families have been touched, in one way or another, by breast cancer,” said Governor Rauner. “I’m proud to sign this legislation because by improving early detection methods and requiring insurance plans to cover this cutting-edge screening tool, Illinois is at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer.”
Breast tomosynthesis is a form of breast cancer screening that is newer and more effective than low-dose mammography. It works by creating an image of the breast through a series X-Rays from different angles. This enables doctors to have a clear, 3-dimensional image, making it easier to see through dense tissue and detect breast cancers.
“This bipartisan legislation signifies the commitment of the General Assembly to the fight against breast cancer and protecting women’s health,” said Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), sponsor of the legislation. “The best way to fight cancer is with early detection; I’m proud we’re taking this step that will expand women’s access to this important diagnostic tool.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Illinois women, accounting for 29.7 percent of 796,602 invasive cancer diagnoses in women during 1986-2013. In 2013 alone, 9,859 women were diagnosed with, and 1,761 women died from, breast cancer.
“Early detection of breast cancer is key to survival and this new law offers women more options for detecting breast cancer,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “We encourage women to talk with their health care provider about 3D mammography to determine what would be best for them.”
IDPH projects that 10,290 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and that the number will increase to 10,440 women in 2017.
Senate Bill 466 is effective immediately.