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AB 1795 Passes Expanding Eligibility to Breast Cancer Care for Women Under 40

Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center is proud to announce that effective January 1st, 2017, all women, regardless of age, will have timely access to receive the necessary services to detect and treat their cancers early. This means that any woman with a symptom of breast cancer can now receive the appropriate diagnostic breast health services that were previously denied to women under 40 years old.

AB 1795 was highly sought after by health service organizations, such as the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Association of California Healthcare Districts, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Bill passed out of Senate Appropriations in August 2016, and was officially signed into legislation by Governor Jerry Brown on September 25, 2016.

The Bill expands eligibility for breast cancer screening under the Every Woman Counts (EWC) program to symptomatic women, regardless of age.  This bill also provides that if an individual is diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer or cervical cancer, whether at the original cancer site or a different cancer cite, and meets all other applicable eligibility requirements, the individual shall be eligible for an additional period of treatment coverage of 18 or 24 months. 

“This Bill passing has been something we have worked toward for a long time,” said Cheryl Lebowitz, patient navigator at Michelle’s Place. “Now we can focus on educating the community about early detection and spend more time and funding on those already diagnosed so they receive more resources and support.”

Michelle’s Place has been facilitating and funding diagnostic screening services to women under 40 for nearly a decade through the Breast Health Assistance program. With all women, regardless of age, receiving diagnostic care through the passing of this Bill, Michelle’s Place can now focus on and grow the patient navigation program and services provided to all women diagnosed with breast cancer.