October is Breast Cancer Month!

Many women who have Breast Cancer are unaware that they have special protections under Federal Law. The following is the text from the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act.

Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act:

On October 21 1998, a federal law, the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act, became effective. This law requires group health plans that provide coverage for mastectomies to also cover reconstructive surgery and prostheses following mastectomies.

Group health plans are required to send you an annual notification informing you about the law’s provisions.  The law mandates that a member receiving benefits for a medically necessary mastectomy, who elects breast reconstruction after the mastectomy, will also receive coverage for:

  •     Reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy has been performed
  •     Surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance
  •     Prostheses at the site of the surgery
  •     Treatment of physical complications of all stages of mastectomy, including lymphedemas

This coverage will be provided in consultation with the attending physician and the patient, and will be subject to the same annual deductibles and coinsurance provisions that apply for the mastectomy.

This Law was passed in 1998. It was sent through Congress to protect women who have had breast cancer. While it is a federal law, your insurance company may need to be reminded of this. If you have developed Lymphedema, and desire treatment, whether it includes, Reconstructive Surgery, Physical Therapy, a Lymphedema Pump, or all three, it should be covered under the law. It is the responsibility of you, the patient to protect these rights. Advanced Rehab Technologies can help you deal with your Insurance Company, but it final responsibility rest with you to protect these rights.