Take Action Now: Here’s Where To Get Free & Low-Cost Mammograms

By Kendall Lanier. 

 

We work every single day to end breast cancer, not just during October.  One of the best ways to stop breast cancer in its tracks? Early Detection (it works).

The first step? Know Your Normal & Get Screened

The signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. It is important to know how your breasts normally look and feel. If you feel or see any change in your breasts or underarms, see a doctor.

Women over 40 should also consider getting a mammogram  — an X-ray that examines breast tissue — every one to two years. It becomes harder for mammograms to detect the cancer the denser the breast tissue becomes. Learn more about breast density here. 

If you’re younger than 40 but have risk factors, such as family history for breast cancer, you might need a mammogram too; ask for your doctor’s recommendation.  It may be helpful to download and print Susan G. Komen®‘s Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Screening Mammograms resource and take it with you to your next doctor appointment. There’s plenty of space to write down the answers to these questions, which you can refer to later.

 


Regardless of your situation, don’t avoid mammograms because of their cost.  Help is available.


 

Women Should Have Access To and Coverage For Mammography

Susan G. Komen® believes all women should have access to regular screening mammograms when they and their health care providers decide it is best based on their personal risk of breast cancer. In addition, screening should be covered by insurance companies, government programs and other third-party payers. Read more.

3 Ways to Access Low-Cost or Free Mammograms

Women today have a bounty of ways to get free and low-cost mammograms. Here are three options.

Your Health Insurance

If you’re 40 or older, the Affordable Care Act requires your insurer to cover screening mammograms with no co-payment. More information is available here.

Medicare and Medicaid also cover the cost of mammograms. 

The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program

The CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program “provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to income eligible, uninsured, and underinsured women across the United States.”

To qualify for this screening, you need to be between the ages of 40 and 64, have no insurance or insurance that fails to cover screening exams, and live at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.

Early detection is essential and works. 62% of breast cancers that are diagnosed are localized, which means it was found in the area it started. 6% of breast cancer cases have metastasized, meaning it has spread to other areas throughout the body. 

Kansas Residents – Early Detection Works 

In Kansas, the Early Detection Works program offers health education, diagnosis, screening, and referrals 

  • To be eligible, you must fit in one of these categories 
    • Between ages 21 to 64 years old for cervical cancer screenings 
    • Between ages 40 to 64 years old for breast cancer screenings 
    • Have a certain amount of family income before tax
  • IndividualsUnsure if you are eligible?  Call 1-877-277-1368 to ask about eligibility or find out what resources may be available.
  • Healthcare ProvidersLearn More HERE about becoming an Early Detection Works Provider!
Missouri Residents – Show Me Healthy Women 
  • For Missouri residents, the Show Me Healthy Women program offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings for women who meet these guidelines
    • Income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level for household income
    • Age 35 to 64, or older if they do not receive Medicare Part B
    • No insurance to cover program services
  • Individuals – To locate a provider near you, call  1-866-726-9926 or view the provider map HERE.
  • Healthcare Providers – Learn More HERE about becoming a Show Me Healthy Women Provider!
Not a Kansas or Missouri Resident?  Here’s Who to Contact:

Search for free or low-cost screenings in your state, territory, or tribe.

Your Local Imaging Center

Check with your local health system and  imaging center who may offer access to resources or local assistance.  To find a certified mammography center in your area, visit the FDA website (www.fda.gov).

To learn more about mammograms — including how they work and how to prepare — check out our most recent #FactsForLife about Mammography.

Resources

National Breast Care Helpline 1-877-GO-KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)

Kansas Early Detection Works enrollment line (1-877-277-1368)

Missouri Show Me Healthy Women information line (1-866-726-9926)

Komen Advocacy Action Center  – Becoming an advocate is easy – just click here and take action in one of our ongoing campaigns!

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Kendall is a sophomore journalism major at Howard University. She served as #Summer2020 Digital Communication Intern for Komen Kansas + Western Missouri.  Connect with Kendall on Linkedin. Follow her blog, The Need To Know.