Ohio BCCP Eligibility Expanded
Wednesday, July 5th – Breast cancer is a public health crisis, particularly if you are an Ohio resident — Ohio has the third highest mortality rate of any state in the country. The Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure today announced that the state legislature has taken an enormous step in helping to alleviate this crisis by passing an amendment to modernize and expand access to Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP), potentially saving thousands of lives.
Originally passed in 2000 and coordinated by the Ohio Department of Health, the BCCP provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to eligible women. The 2017 amendment – now signed into law without any further taxpayer burden – widens eligibility for the program to hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents and expands outreach to target underserved populations in need of screening and prevention services.
The BCCP expansion:
- increases income eligibility for Ohio women up to 250 percent of the federal poverty line, up from 200 percent;
- allows women ages 25-39 with a physician noted abnormality to access the program – the previous age range was 40 to 49;
- allows women 40-49 to access regular screenings through the program – previously only woman aged 50 and above were served;
- gives access to eligible women ages 25-39, who can now utilize the program upon detection of symptoms; and
- helps women who have some form of insurance but faced high out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic testing – the former BCCP only assisted women who had no insurance.
“This program has proven to be effective. With this update and a re-focused vision, it will continue to help women who were excluded but still in dire need of this assistance,” said Sean Shacklett, executive director of Komen Northeast Ohio. “On behalf of all the Komen affiliates across the state, I want to express my appreciation to the Ohio legislature for recognizing this shortfall and addressing it. Thousands of lives will be saved by modernizing this critical program.”
In addition, the updated BCCP eligibility makes great strides in providing healthcare navigation services to uninsured, low-income, and/or underserved populations, helping clients understand test results and overcome barriers such as translation services and transportation assistance. In this way, the BCCP also guides women in utilization of existing benefits and access to insurance for other healthcare needs, including diabetes, heart disease, etc.
“With earlier prevention and treatment provided to these underinsured populations, this ultimately saves the state taxpayer, health providers, and health insurers’ money,” said Shacklett. “It’s a solid, common-sense approach to helping curtail breast and cervical cancer rates and linking these women to more sustainable healthcare in the future, making it an efficient and effective investment.”
The Ohio Susan G. Komen affiliates (Columbus, Northeast, Northwest and Southwest) led a coalition of partners in bringing this legislation to fruition and advocating for it through the budget process and express thanks to State Rep. Anne Gonzales and Sens. Peggy Lehner and Charleta Tavares for their support and leadership, as well as Governor Kasich.
About Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio
Komen Northeast Ohio saves women’s lives and has invested $15 million since 1994 by leading the effort to strengthen breast health care, delivery and create community solutions. Komen is the only breast cancer organization attacking the disease on all fronts through community outreach, research, and advocacy.
Susan G. Komen® has invested more than $13.7 million in breast cancer research in Ohio and invested $920 million in global research. For more information, please visit www.komenneohio.org or call the Komen Northeast Ohio office at (216) 292-2873. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The 24th Annual Komen Cleveland Race for the Cure will be held on Saturday, August 26th, and the 5th Annual Komen Akron Race for the Cure will be held on Sunday, October 22nd. Visit www.komenneohio.org to register and begin fundraising.