Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D – Columbia, Dutchess) announced the passage of legislation she sponsored that will grant women better access to breast cancer screenings in New York State (A.10679). Specifically, the measure will prohibit deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance for screening and diagnostic imaging; extend hours at mammography facilities; and expand the amount of public employees who are eligible for annual paid leave for breast cancer screenings.
“Early detection is vital in the fight against breast cancer,” Assemblymember Didi Barrett said. “By removing the obstacles of cost and inconvenient hours we can ensure more women have better access to lifesaving health services. This bill will ensure women in all our communities will no longer have to risk their health and wellbeing because they do not have the time or cannot afford a mammogram.”
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in New York State, with over 15,000 women being diagnosed and over 2,600 women dying from the disease each year. One in eight women will develop cancer during their lifetime.1 This legislation, which was a priority of Governor Andrew Cuomo following his partner Sandra Lee’s recent battle with breast cancer, stands to curb those statistics by providing women easier access to early detection healthcare services, when treatment is most effective.
The legislation will:
- Require hospitals and clinics to offer extended hours of screening by at least four hours per week including 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday or Sunday;
- Eliminate annual deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance payments for all screening mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and breast MRIs;
- Provide all public employees in New York State with up to four hours of paid leave for screening for breast cancer each year.