Finding Low-Cost or Free Mammograms
A screening mammogram will often be covered by your health insurance. While this is required in many states, self-insured corporations (often very large employers) are exempt. Quite a few of these self-insured corporations offer coverage anyway, but you should check your health plan. As of January 1, 1998, Medicare will pay for a mammogram every year, but Medicaid coverage varies by state. To locate a FDA-certified, accredited mammography facility in your area, call the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER.
If you do not have health insurance, you have a number of options:
* The American Cancer Society can tell you about any low-cost or free mammography programs in your area. These programs offer screening to women unable to pay for it themselves.
* The Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program funds free or low-cost breast cancer screening in each state. This link will help you find your state's office.
* The YWCA offers ENCOREplus, a program for access to low-cost or free mammograms. This link will help you find out if your local YWCA offers this program and if you are eligible.
* The National Cancer Institute will give you a list of FDA-certified, accredited mammography facilities in your area. Some mammography facilities are willing to work out a lower fee or payment schedule that will make the test more affordable if you are unable to pay. Ask the facility if they are willing to discuss these options with you.
* National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October of every year. Many mammography facilities offer special fees and extended hours during this month. If you are unable to schedule a mammogram another time of year, you may wish to call in September to reserve an appointment.