Insurance plans in Illinois, including Medicaid, will now cover breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, following the Governor’s recent approval of Senate Bill 466.
The legislation was unanimously supported by Illinois lawmakers, and praised as a critical tool to help with early detection of 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.
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.
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 took effect immediately.