SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Representative Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is applauding Governor JB Pritzker for his decision to sign HB 5334 into law on May 27th, 2022. The new law requires that, beginning January 1, 2024, all individual and group accident and health insurance policies provide coverage for the cost of genetic testing to better assess the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
“Cancer is the second leading cause of death among American women, according to the CDC,” said Stuart. “And breast and ovarian cancer are two types of this terrible disease which impact women especially. Early detection saves lives, and testing to alert physicians to the potential need for earlier and more frequent screenings will help more families avoid the pain of losing a loved one.”
The law mandates coverage for genetic testing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are often called “tumor suppressor” genes because they are associated with the body’s ability to repair damaged proteins. Those with abnormalities in one or both of these genes are at increased risk of developing certain cancers, most notably breast and ovarian cancers. Genetic testing can reveal these abnormalities early on, tipping off a woman’s doctors that they will need to be extra vigilant.
The bill was an initiative of Representative Stuart, who sponsored it in the House. Other supporters included Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.
The new law takes effect on January 1, 2024. Insurers have until then to make their plans compliant.
“ I am pleased that the Governor has chosen to sign this important bill into law,” said Stuart. “Advocating for Illinois women is very important to me and better testing for conditions which disproportionately affect women will make our state a more just and equitable place to live.”
For more information, call Rep. Stuart’s office at 618-365-6650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.