FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2015
New Affordable Care Act guidance says women with ovarian cancer can receive free genetic counseling, testing
WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury issued new guidance to clarify services and coverage available under the Affordable Care Act. Before today, only women with a family history of ovarian and breast cancer were eligible for genetic testing and counseling free from additional out-of-pocket expense. Today’s guidance will now allow women diagnosed with ovarian cancer to also access this counseling and testing as part of their coverage. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance CEO Calaneet Balas issued the following statement in response:
“Today’s guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services closes the coverage gap on genetic counseling and testing for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It will no longer be cost-prohibitive or burdensome for these women to access the counseling and testing they need. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has long called for lawmakers and agencies to make this change and applauds this step toward better care and coverage for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.”
A fifth of women with ovarian cancer have a genetic predisposition to the disease. Genetic testing after an ovarian cancer diagnosis is critical to allowing women and their families to potentially avoid another cancer diagnosis, either by undergoing risk-reducing surgeries or using chemoprevention. Furthermore, women with ovarian cancer caused by BRCA mutations might be eligible for new personalized therapies.
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) is a powerful voice for everyone touched by ovarian cancer, connecting survivors, women at risk, caregivers and health providers with the information and resources they need. OCNA ensures that ovarian cancer is a priority for lawmakers and agencies in Washington, DC, and throughout the country. OCNA works with the community to raise their voices on behalf of every life that has been affected by this disease.