Georgia Breast and Cancer Program expands to include insured women

Rome, GA: Eligibility for the Georgia Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) has been expanded to include insured women meeting certain income requirements in addition to previously eligible uninsured women.  Now, insured women may be eligible for certain diagnostic breast or cervical procedures provided by the program.

BCCP Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Public Health’s ten-county Northwest Health District, Anne Murphy RN,  says that “all women, with or without insurance, must meet program income requirements of equal or less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, which varies depending on family size.” Procedures such as a screening mammogram or Pap smear, Murphy explains, would not be covered because they should be covered by an insured woman’s plan as a preventive service.

“We’re seeing more and more insured women who need a diagnostic breast or cervical procedure for a problem found on a screening for which their insurance pays,” says Murphy, “yet often these women will not get the needed procedure because they can’t meet their deductible or because of the additional costs. That’s where BCCP may be able to help.”

“We’re committed to making certain that low-income women, who are uninsured, under-insured or, in certain instances, insured, receive access to breast and cervical cancer services,” Murphy says. She encourages any Northwest Georgia resident concerned about breast or cervical cancer to contact their local county health department for additional information and assistance determining eligibility.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death for Georgia women. Cervical cancer is the eighth leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality in the state. Early detection and treatment is critical with both.

BCCP provides screening services, including breast exams, mammogram referrals, pelvic exams and Pap tests.  It also provides referrals for diagnostic services such as surgical consults and biopsies.  Through this program, women with abnormal screening results receive timely diagnostic and treatment follow-up.

Those diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer may qualify for enrollment in Women’s Health Medicaid for treatment.  Application for enrollment in Women’s Health Medicaid can be completed at your local county health department with eligibility determined the same day the woman applies.

Last year, the GDPH Northwest Health District diagnosed twelve women with breast cancer through BCCP. All twelve were eligible for Women’s Health Medicaid and received treatment.

For more information on BCCP, contact your local county health department (counties and contact information here: http://nwgapublichealth.org/counties/) or visit http://nwgapublichealth.org/programs/breast-and-cervical-cancer/

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