Senator Stabenow Statement on Announcement that Affordable Care Act will Provide Women Access to Breast Cancer Prevention Medication

Thursday, January 09, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today made the following statement regarding the announcement that under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans will soon provide women at a high risk of developing breast cancer with free access to prescription drugs that help prevent the disease:

"This announcement again shows how the Affordable Care Act is benefitting women in Michigan and across the country. Women can no longer be charged more just for being women, and nearly one million women in Michigan have already gained access to critical preventive services like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings without co-pays. Now, women across the country at high risk for breast cancer will soon get medicine to help prevent the disease without a copay or deductible. Today's announcement is another example of the Affordable Care Act doing what it was meant to do-saving money and saving lives."

The Affordable Care Act requires most health plans-whether employer-provided, individual market, or ACA marketplace plans-to provide certain preventive services at no cost to patients. Providing preventive services helps keep patients healthy, saves lives, and brings down long-term health costs, as preventive services are far less expensive than treating serious diseases.

Today's U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announcement means that breast cancer prevention medication will be added to the list of preventive services most insurance plans must provide. This requirement will take effect for plans beginning in September 2014.