General Assembly passes historic breast cancer screening bill

HARRISBURG, April 26 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill today cast her vote in support of historic legislation that would eliminate out-of-pocket costs for certain breast cancer-related medical screenings.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously approved S.B. 8, which, once signed by the governor, will require insurers to pay for all costs associated with a breast MRI or additional ultrasound, as well as BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling, for Pennsylvanians at high risk for hereditary cancers.

“I am incredibly proud to have contributed to passage of this measure to provide additional diagnostic tools for breast cancer at no cost for high-risk patients,” McNeill said. “An additional screening could make a difference in catching breast cancer in its earlier stages, which could mean saving the life of our friends and family.”

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a breast MRI is more than twice as effective than even 3D mammograms in detecting breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue, which is a high-risk factor.

“Removing the costs of these evidence-based preventive screenings will help ensure that they are more accessible to those who need them,” McNeill said.

The bill unanimously passed both the Senate and House and now goes to the governor for his signature.