Governor Polis Signs Legislation to Renew Colorado's Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program for 10 Years
State Program Provides Cancer Treatment for Low-Income, Uninsured and Underinsured Women
DENVER, Colo—Flanked by cancer patients, survivors and advocates, Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 1302 into law, renewing Colorado’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Treatment Program for another 10 years to provide cancer treatment for low-income, uninsured and under-insured women.
"Unfortunately, people without health insurance have lower cancer screening rates," said R.J. Ours, Colorado government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). "This program is so critical to ensure that low-income and uninsured women in Colorado can access treatments if they are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. For many women, this state program is the only coverage option they’ll have to treat their cancer."
Only 31% of uninsured women (age 40 and older) have received a mammogram in the past two years, compared to 68% of insured women. Likewise, only 61% of uninsured women (21 to 65 years of age) have received a Pap test in the past three years, compared to 84% of insured women.
Colorado's Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Treatment Program (BCCP) pays for breast and cervical cancer treatment for uninsured or under-insured women aged 40-65 with breast cancer and aged 21-65 with cervical cancer who earn less than 250% of the federal poverty level. The BCCP is funded through a combination of state and federal funds to provide treatment to women through Colorado’s Medicaid program.
The legislation signed into law today will:
- Extend the program's sunset date from 2019 to 2029.
- Continue eligibility for Colorado woman to qualify for the treatment program regardless of the location of diagnosis.
- Fund the state portion of projected program expenses for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund from revenue collected from the sale of the state’s breast cancer license plate.
Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer for women in the United States. However, if caught early, the survival rate is 99%, but if it's diagnosed at a late stage, the survival rate is just 27%. Treatment is also more effective and less expensive if caught early. This year, nearly 4,200 Colorado women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 610 women will die from it.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.