Legislative Victories

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition has worked, since its inception, to better the lives of women and their families in Pennsylvania.

The following items were enacted thanks to the advocacy efforts of PBCC supporters and dedicated legislators.

Act 1 of 2023 for no-cost breast MRI/ultrasound, genetic testing/counseling
Bill signed into law May 2023, implementation to begin January 2024
Introduced by Senator Kim Ward

  • Eliminates all costs associated with breast MRI, breast ultrasound, BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling for individuals at high risk who are insured under Pennsylvania law. High-risk factors covered under Act 1 include :
    • personal history of breast cancer
    • family history of breast cancer
    • dense breast tissue
    • prior radiation therapy

Learn more about Act 1, when it takes effect and what it means for you and your family at opens in a new windowpbcc.me/act1

Breast Cancer Research Act, Act 23 of 2021
Bill signed into law June, 2021
Introduced by Senator Bob Mensch

  • Allows Pennsylvania drivers to donate $5 to breast cancer research through online driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals
  • All funds go toward the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Research Grants Initiative, which has contributed nearly $5 million to outstanding PA scientists.

Act 52 for Breast Density Screening Insurance Coverage
Bill signed into law July, 2020
Introduced by Senator Bob Mensch

  • Requires insurers to cover breast MRI and ultrasound for women with:
    • extremely dense breasts
    • high-risk factors such as a family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer or genetic predisposition to breast cancer
    • heterogeneously dense breasts with one other high-risk factor

Breast Density Notification Act
Bill signed into law November, 2013
Introduced by Senator Bob Mensch and Representative Karen Boback

  • Requires Pennsylvania mammography centers to notify women of their breast density
  • Dense breast tissue can mask tumors on a mammogram, often leading to a later-stage diagnosis in women with breast cancer

Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Screening Act
Bill signed into law November, 2005
Effective July 1, 2006
Introduced by Representative George Kenney

  • Establishes the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Screening Program within the PA Department of Health.
  • Provides for breast and cervical cancer screening services for women 40 to 49 years of age whose income does not exceed 250% of the federal poverty level and who have no health insurance coverage for screening mammograms, clinical breast examinations, pap tests and pelvic examinations.

Act 81 of 2002 – No time limit on reconstructive surgery
Effective June 28, 2002
Introduced by: Senator Edwin Holl and Rep. George Kenney
Previous legislation passed in 1997 required insurers to cover the cost of reconstructive surgery after mastectomy and symmetry for the opposite breast within 6 years. This legislation….

Extension of Medicaid for breast cancer treatment
Effective January 1, 2002
Executive Order by Governor Ridge in June, 2001

  • Extends the state’s Medicaid coverage to uninsured women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through the Centers for Disease Control’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
  • Covers any other medical needs through the period of treatment.
  • Entitles qualified women to immediate free treatment paid for through Medicaid.
  • Guarantees coverage to women in PA of their full treatment costs through Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program.
  • Covers the expenses of patients with breast and cervical cancer whose incomes are too high to meet the traditional guidelines for Medicaid, a federal-state health coverage program.
  • Click here to see the full story in the Fall, 2001 Frontlineopens PDF file (PDF)

Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery Coverage Act
Bill signed into law October, 1997
Introduced by Senator Joseph Uliana, Senator Edwin Holl, and
Representative Dennis O’Brien

  • Provides mandatory insurance coverage for a 48 hour hospital stay and related breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.
  • Provides for opposite breast reconstruction for symmetry, and requires home health care visits for mastectomy patients discharged before 48 hours.
  • Provides protection to women who need time to recover from the trauma of major surgery.
  • Reference: Issue Vol. 2, 1997 Frontline

Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Act
Bill signed into law May, 1997
Introduced by Representative Katie True in October, 1995

  • Allows everyone in Pennsylvania to designate all or part of their state income tax refund for breast cancer research.
  • Every penny raised goes directly to cancer centers/research facilities in Pennsylvania.
  • Reference: Issue Vol. 2, 1997 Frontline