Financial Help for Health Care

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You detect a lump in your breast and want to have a mammogram, but you’re worried. Your employer offers no health insurance and you don’t earn enough to buy a private policy. How will you pay for treatment if the test comes back positive?

Help may be available under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act. This federal law gives states the option to provide eligible women with full Medicaid benefits for treatment of breast and/or cervical cancer or pre-cancerous conditions.

Here’s how it works: First, you need to obtain a screening at a National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program clinic. Clinics operating under this program, which is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control, provide free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to low income, uninsured women. You can find a clinic near you by checking with your state health department.

Next, if the clinic finds symptoms of breast or cervical cancer or a precancerous condition, ask about Medicaid health benefits to help pay for your treatment.

Generally, in order to qualify for help, you must be under age 65, uninsured, and otherwise not eligible for Medicaid. In addition, as mentioned above, you must be screened through a National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program clinic. Your state may have other rules and additional eligibility requirements.

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