Alabama Expands Medicaid Coverage For Eligible Women
A new Alabama law effective July 1 provides free treatment options for women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, provided they meet eligibility criteria. According to the 2009 Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, Alabama women may participate in the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program if they:
(1) Have a diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer
(2) Are under 65 years of age
(3) Have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level
(4) Are a U.S. citizen and a resident of Alabama
(5) Are uninsured or underinsured
“Underinsured” is defined as insurance that does not cover cancer screening such as mammograms or which has a high deductible that the woman is unable to pay.
Under the former Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000, free screening services and Medicaid coverage was provided to eligible women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through the ABCCED program. Now women who have been diagnosed by other licensed physicians who are not providers in this program are also eligible.
“The new act enhances the former act by further expanding coverage to women, which will reduce the mortality rate from these diseases,” said Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer.
“Of the more than 65,000 women who have been screened by the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program since 1997, approximately 1,400 have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer.”
The Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is a program of the Alabama Department of Public Health which provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings for eligible women. This is a federally funded program available in every state. Eligible women are ages 45 to 64, who have no insurance, or are underinsured with income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Women under age 45 who have a breast complaint and meet the other criteria are also eligible.
The Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program provides free treatment through Medicaid for eligible women of any age who have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. Eligible women of any age may have already begun treatment for breast or cervical cancer. This includes women who have already begun treatment for breast or cervical cancer. They must meet the eligibility criteria of diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer, be uninsured or underinsured, have income at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, and be a U.S. citizen.