Navigating the insurance and legal areas of breast cancer awareness is hard enough as it is. Don’t try it alone. For instance, you might wonder if you tell your insurance company you’re getting genetic testing, will they use the information against you? Is genetic risk considered a pre-existing condition? Are there laws protecting you from discrimination based on genetic testing? All good questions.


LEGAL PROTECTION

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information and the improper use of genetic information in health insurance and employment. There are also advocacy groups that support your rights.

You may not be discriminated against based on your genetic information.

The Education & Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act proposes a nationwide awareness and support campaign for women age 45 and under who may have a genetic predisposition to early breast cancer, breast cancer survivors, and doctors.

 

INSURANCE COVERAGE

Many insurance companies now cover genetic testing for women with family histories that indicate increased risk. They also cover the recommended screening and preventive actions for women with high inherited breast cancer risk.

If your insurance company says it will not cover these things, don’t give up!

Here are some actions you can take to get insurance coverage:

  1. ASK YOUR DOCTOR
    or genetic counselor to appeal on your behalf and help you get coverage. Try to do this BEFORE you have the testing, screening, or treatment.
     
  2. ASK FOR A CASE MANAGER
    at the insurance company to help you get the coverage you need.
     
  3. KEEP COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
    open and keep bugging them. Persistence can pay off. If none of these steps works, or if you don’t have insurance, there are support organizations as well as public & government programs that can help.