Preventative genetic testing will be more readily available for women under Obamacare, helping them to easily detect mutations that could lead to breast or ovarian cancer diagnoses.
Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act began Tuesday, and those policies sold through the state Health Insurance Marketplaces must cover a variety of preventative services, including testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
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Those mutations put women at a higher risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. It's the same gene that caused actress Angelina Jolie to undergo a preventative double mastectomy earlier this year.
The Obamacare preventative testing provision is a relief to many women whose old insurance companies failed to even cover the most basic of precautionary measures.
"The issue that really we have is not so much the uninsured as the underinsured," Pam Anderson, cancer services coordinator for the Georgia Department of Community Health, told the Augusta Chronicle.
"There are still insurance companies out there that don’t pay for mammograms. There are people that have high deductibles and they have to meet their deductible first."
Many cancer survivors are hopeful that the new genetic testing coverage will encourage all women to get checked out.
"There's a lot of people who don’t know about genetic testing, so if you have that history of ovarian and breast cancer, the test is so simple," Lawana Evans, a breast cancer survivor from Tennessee, told the Knoxville News Sentinel
. "It wouldn’t even hurt to contact a genetic counselor to see if you were a candidate or in need of a genetic test."
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