Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2019

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Medicaid coverage given to uninsured for breast cancer

CARSON CITY -- Gov. Kenny Guinn's program to extend Medicaid coverage to uninsured women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer has been approved by the federal government.

Nevada is the 44th state to adopt the program that was approved by Congress in 2000.

"This expansion offers help, hope and health care to women in Nevada who otherwise would receive only a diagnosis that may sound like a death sentence," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said.

"With this change, women who had no health coverage can now get immediate access to life-saving treatment through Medicaid."

The program was authorized by the 2001 Legislature at Guinn's request, and was to start in July. Guinn, to help balance the budget, delayed a number of programs in human resources, but allowed this one to go forward without any budget reduction.

The total cost is $3.2 million for the fiscal year, of which $1.1 million will come from the state.

The program allows states to provide full Medicaid benefits to all uninsured women under 65 years old with breast or cervical cancer or pre-cancerous conditions diagnosed through the federal Centers for Disease Control's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection program.

Women qualify if they do not have health insurance coverage and if they are not already covered by Medicaid.