A majority of callers were uninsured or underinsured women who needed mammograms and were referred to the Pennsylvania Department of Health's HealthyWoman Program, or needed breast cancer treatment and were referred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment program (BCCPT).
Many more consulted with the PBCC's Patient Advocate about insurance coverage, disability, Family Medical Leave, employment issues, or simply needed someone to listen to their concerns.
We can be a resource for you, help you navigate your way through an insurance maze, or simply listen to your concerns. You are not alone. The PBCC is here for you, just like we were for these women and countless others…
Liudmila of Sharon Hill, PA - "I can't believe how well I was treated."
Marcella of Easton, PA - "They were supportive and knowledgeable."
Claudette of Red Lion, PA - "My fears were eliminated."
Below are some of the resources we refer women to most frequently. If the issue you are facing is not addressed here, or if you still have questions, please feel free to contact PBCC patient advocate Dolores Magro directly at 610-622-3390 or Info@PABreastCancer.org. You can also leave a message on our toll-free line at 800-377-8828 x302.
Click the links below for answers to these questions...
No insurance and need a mammogram...
If you are between the ages of 40 and 64, you may qualify for a screening mammogram, clinical breast exam and Pap test through the PA Department of Health’s HealthyWoman program. Your annual income must be within 250% of poverty, or $28,725 for a single person household or $56,375 for a family of four, for example. Call 1-800-215-7494 to apply. Return to top
No insurance and have breast cancer...
You may be able to get FREE TREATMENT through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment program (BCCPT). Women who qualify for this coverage can receive free coverage (except for nominal copayments), including healthcare for medical needs unrelated to the cancer diagnosis, throughout their course of their treatment for breast or cervical cancer. For more information visit the PBCC’s BCCPT web page or call 1-800-215-7494. Return to top
Insurance does not cover prescriptions...
Needy Meds is a nonprofit information service devoted to helping people in need find assistance programs to help them afford their medications and costs related to health care. Simply enter the name of your prescription medication in the search line and all available programs will be shown. For more information, visit the Needy Meds web page.
Insurance covers most of prescription costs, but the co-pay is high...
The Patient Advocate Foundation has a Co-Pay Relief program. To qualify, you must have insurance that pays for a portion of the prescription bill. Application is through www.copays.org or 866-512-3861. Return to top
Insurance doesn’t cover test or treatment the doctor is ordering...
The PBCC’s guidebook “Breast Cancer: Covered or Not?” can be downloaded for free and was created to answer many of your questions, including what insurers are required to cover. You may appeal any denial of coverage from your insurer, and the guidebook provides sample letters.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department also answers insurance-related questions and hears complaints. Reach them on their automated toll-free hotline at 877-881-6388.
Harrisburg - 717-787-2317
Pittsburgh - 412-565-5020
Philadelphia - 215-560-2630
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Philadelphia Area Only
Crickett's Answer for Cancer finds a vendor in your area and pays the vendor or service provider directly on your behalf for 100% of the cost of wigs and lymphedema compression garments. Visit Crickett's Answer for Cancer online here for more information.
In the Pittsburgh area, within 412 and 724 area codes, Hair Peace Charities offers $100 vouchers paid directly to the salon for a cancer patient. Contact them at www.hairpeace.org or 412-327-5177. Some, but not all, insurance policies cover the cost of wigs if the request is from a physician and worded as a “cranial prosthesis.” Return to top
Need legal advice about access to programs...
The PA Health Law Project offers advice and advocacy on access to health care for low-income consumers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Contact them at www.phlp.org or 1-800-274-3258. Return to top
Worried about keeping my job...
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to taking care of yourself as well as others. To qualify, your place of employment must have 50 or more employees and you must have worked there for at least 12 consecutive months. The act requires your employer to provide 12 workweeks of unpaid leave time. Details are on the Department of Labor website. Return to top
Diagnosed with breast cancer in the past six months and live in Pennsylvania...
The PBCC would like to send you one of our Friends Like Me™ care packages, at absolutely no cost to you. Your package will include important and timely information about breast cancer treatment, as well as a PBCC pink ribbon pin and gifts such as cosmetics and books. Simply complete the request form. Friends Like Me™ care packages are made possible through the generosity of individual donors, corporate sponsors, and the efforts of our Grassroots Partners. Return to top
Do you know about important resources not listed here?
We welcome your input. Please send details, including your contact information, to Info@PABreastCancer.org. The PBCC also advocates for women in Pennsylvania through state legislative initiatives. To learn about PBCC legislative victories that are making a real difference in the lives of women with breast cancer, click here. Return to top