Did you know that many women with health insurance are unable to have testing that could truly save their lives?
Many insurance companies require women to reach high-risk status for breast cancer in order to have a breast MRI screening covered by insurance.
Breast MRIs are a very important screening method for high-risk women because they are extremely sensitive, there is no radiation exposure like in mammography, and suspicious areas in dense breast tissue can more easily be observed. Breast MRIs do have limitations, since there is a higher probability of false positive results than with mammography, and they are very expensive, but for women whose cancer can only be detected through breast MRI, these tests are invaluable.
Due to the strict guidelines in place by many insurance companies including Aetna, it is very possible that there are women who are unable to get breast MRI testing covered even if they may really be at high-risk. Some women prefer not to get genetic testing for a gene mutation in their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes due to cost or anxiety about the results. Also, women may not meet their insurance company’s guidelines because they are unaware that that one or more of their relatives had breast cancer.
Women at risk for breast cancer deserve the right to have breast MRI screening! Women must investigate their family history of breast cancer and educate themselves about genetic testing and other screening methods that could prove they do meet the high-risk status required for coverage.
- blog authored by Gina Piscitello