Governor Signs Shannon’s Law Requiring Large Group Insurers to Cover Medically Necessary Mammograms
Governor Cuomo: “We know that with cancer diagnoses, early detection is the best possible treatment. This administration has taken and will continue to take aggressive action to break down any barriers to breast cancer screenings for women across the state.”
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation further strengthening women’s health care protections. The bill (S.3852-A/A.5502-A) requires large group insurers to cover medically necessary mammograms for women aged 35 to 39. The legislation, known as “Shannon’s Law,” is named for Shannon Saturno of Babylon, Long Island, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 28 years old and passed away at 31.
“We know that with cancer diagnoses, early detection is the best possible treatment. This administration has taken and will continue to take aggressive action to break down any barriers to breast cancer screenings for women across the state,” said Governor Cuomo. “By signing this legislation, we are taking another step to break down barriers to breast cancer screening and improve access to health care for all women in New York.”
“We are continuing to double down on our efforts to expand access to potentially life-saving services,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We know mammograms and cancer screenings must be available for all New Yorkers, and this law will help to ensure coverage, early detection, and treatment. We are committed to promoting breast cancer screenings statewide and continuing to save lives.”
Currently, many insurance companies are only required to cover annual mammogram screenings for women over the age of 40, but over 12,000 cases of breast cancer are detected annually are in women under the age of 40 and are oftentimes in later stages and more aggressive forms of cancer.
Shannon’s Law will require large group insurance companies to cover annual mammogram screenings for women aged 35 to 39 when medically necessary.
State Senator Monica R. Martinez said, “I strongly believe in the importance of early detection, and it is imperative that individuals under 40 have access to annual mammograms when deemed medically necessary. With 1 in 8 women developing breast cancer in their lifetime, the enactment of this bill is critical to enabling early detection and saving lives.”
Assembly Member Kimberly Jean-Pierre said, “Far too many young women have lost their lives to breast cancer because of a late diagnosis. This disease impacts women young and old, which is why expanding coverage for mammograms is so important. Lowering the age of covered annual mammogram screenings will ensure women can take action before it’s too late. Shannon’s Law is long overdue, and I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for his support.”