SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is demanding big insurance companies stop nickel and diming breast cancer patients, passing legislation that will require health plans to cover potentially lifesaving diagnostic tests.
“Our current health care system does not cover nearly enough necessary medical procedures for women,” Hernandez said. “Our insurance system treats common and crucial procedures which more than half of the population will need like they are unforeseeable and unusual. Women’s health care coverage needs a lot of updates, one of which is addressed by this legislation.”
Hernandez voted to pass Senate Bill 162, which expands coverage for mammograms. Hernandez’s legislation would require insurance companies to cover diagnostic mammograms, which are typically done to follow up and collect more information after a preventative screening indicated signs of breast cancer. Currently, regularly-scheduled preventative mammograms must be covered, but physician-requested diagnostic mammograms are not, and patients are forced to share the cost of the procedure with their insurance company.
“Insurance companies never miss an opportunity to charge women for being women,” Hernandez said. “They unfairly pad their pockets whenever possible; grabbing every dollar, no matter who they have to exploit. However, this legislation pushes back against their agenda. Broader coverage of mammograms is just one step of many I will take to achieve equal medical care in Illinois.”