State Advocacy

Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio actively works to educate our elected officials about breast cancer, the Komen mission to ensure quality care for all, and the impact Komen Northeast Ohio makes in our 22 county service area.

Did you know:

  • Nationwide, Ohio ranks 32nd in breast cancer incidence but is 4th in overall deaths from the disease.
  • There are more than 332,000 uninsured or underinsured women in Northeast Ohio alone.
  • Even though the incidence of breast cancer in African American women is lower than the general population, breast cancer mortality for African American women in Ohio is nearly equal to that of the general population.

It is crucial we partner with Ohio legislators to improve these startling statistics. Below is a summary of the current issues we support.

Senate Bill 313 (SB 313): Expanded Eligibility Coverage for Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) is a program that provides free, high quality breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic testing, patient navigation, and case management services at no cost to eligible women in Ohio. If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer through the BCCP, she is automatically enrolled into BCCP Medicaid which covers the entire costs of needed treatments. Women currently eligible for breast health services through the BCCP in Ohio include uninsured women between the ages of 50-64 with incomes below two times (200%) the Federal Poverty Level. Women must also be screened by a contracted BCCP provider in order to qualify for the program.

National BCCP guidelines, however, dictate that eligibility for BCCP coverage can be expanded to include underinsured women, women between the ages of 40-49, women under the age of 40 with a physician noted abnormality, and women with incomes at or below 2.5 times (250%) the Federal Poverty Level. Reports published in 2015 by the four Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen® identified an expanding population of underinsured individuals. Many low-income individuals who have coverage through expanded Medicaid or the health insurance marketplace have enrolled into low premium, high deductible plans. These plans are particularly problematic for low-income individuals in need of diagnostic breast health services.

While screening mammograms are covered under the Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits, diagnostic services are not. This means an underinsured woman can get a free mammogram, find out something is abnormal, but then cannot do anything about it because she cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs and/or deductibles for diagnostic testing. It may take this woman weeks, or even months, to save up money to pay for the diagnostic test. Knowing that early detection is critical to increasing an individual’s chance of surviving breast cancer, these weeks and/or months could cost this underinsured woman her life.

Due to state level mandates, Ohio’s BCCP is currently not open to women whose insurance coverage is inadequate. SB 313 modernizes BCCP eligibility to meet the needs present in the current healthcare system. This legislation expands coverage to include underinsured women, women between the ages of 40-64, women under the age of 40 with a physician noted abnormality, and women with incomes 2.5 times (250%) less than the Federal Poverty level. SB 313 provides Ohio the opportunity to adjust an already cost-effective program that can save the state in healthcare costs and meet the current, real-time needs of even more Ohioans.

Click here for an infographic on modernizing BCCP eligibility in Ohio.
Click here for a fact sheet on Senate Bill 313.

Organizational support for this amendment includes: The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN), OhioHealth, Mount Carmel, Southern Ohio Medical Center, and many more. Please email Gina Chicotel at to add your organization to the list!

Increased Funding for Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

The Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen were proud to support HB 112, legislation signed into law on October 25, 2013, which allows Ohio taxpayers to contribute a portion or all of their state tax refund directly to the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP). At current funding,  Ohio’s BCCP is only able to serve approximately 5 percent of the eligible women in Ohio. The BCCP Tax Check-off will enable the program to serve up to 1,700 additional women (approximately an 11 percent increase over current levels) with life saving and cost saving access to early detection and diagnostic services.

In the 2014-2015 tax years, more than $165,000 was raised through the BCCP tax check-off option. Please remember the BCCP when filling out your state tax return. If you check the box, you could save a life!

Click here for an Ohio BCCP tax check-off promotional flyer.

Ohio Lobby Day

Each year Komen Northeast Ohio joins forces with Komen Columbus, Komen Northwest Ohio, and Komen Southeast Ohio at the statehouse to educate our state legislators about Komen’s statewide impact, our mission and the current issues we support.