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NewsVGM-backed Bill to Provide Medicare Coverage of Custom Breast Prostheses Reintroduced in Congress

U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), along with U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have reintroduced the bipartisan S. 2051/ H.R. 3087 Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act, which would provide Medicare coverage of custom breast prostheses to breast cancer survivors. Since most private insurance companies follow Medicare coverage standards, passage of the legislation will allow hundreds of thousands of women each year to choose a custom prosthesis after mastectomy.

“This is great step forward in our efforts to expand access to life-changing healthcare for breast cancer survivors,” said Nikki Jensen, vice president of Essentially Women, a division of VGM Group, Inc.

Essentially Women, along with People for Quality Care, another VGM division, created the #LetHerDecide campaign to fight for Medicare beneficiaries battling breast cancer to have coverage for all the recovery options available to them.

Medicare covers most other post-mastectomy treatment options and other custom prosthetic devices; however, custom breast prosthesis is the only prosthetic device not covered by Medicare. Senator Duckworth noted how the new legislation is a step toward achieving health equity for older women and women of color. As breast cancer survival rates increase, so should Medicare coverage of treatment options, Murkowski added.

“Women are unique and come in all shapes, sizes, and skin tones,” said Jensen. “Providing Medicare coverage for custom breast prostheses gives women the options they need and will let them decide what’s right for them.”

Similar legislation has been introduced twice in recent years, but has not received enough support to advance.

“We ask that anyone affected by breast cancer, or if you just feel this is the right thing to do, please contact your elected officials and show support for the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act,” said Jensen.

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