HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on Senate Bill 1225, which eliminates out-of-pocket costs of breast MRI and ultrasound screenings for women at high risk for breast cancer, and Senate Bill 1330, which removes costs associated with genetic testing and counseling for hereditary cancers.  

Senate Bill 1225, sponsored by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Mensch, R-Montgomery, and co-sponsored by 46 other senators, covers Pennsylvania women with high-risk conditions including a personal history of breast cancer, family history, genetic predisposition, dense breast tissue, or radiation therapy.

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The PA Breast Cancer Coalition said studies show breast MRI is more than two times as effective as even 3D mammograms in detecting breast cancer in women at high risk. 

Senate Bill 1330, sponsored by Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, requires health insurance policies to cover — without patient cost-sharing — genetic counseling and genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

BRCA mutations are shown to increase a person’s chance of developing various hereditary cancers including breast and ovarian cancers. 

Sen. Ward and Sen. Christine Tartaglione, D-Philadelphia, will introduce a Senate Resolution declaring the month of October 2022 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Oct. 21, 2022, as Mammography Day in Pennsylvania at 2 p.m. at the Capitol fountain.

If the bills do pass, they will then head to the Pennsylvania House for a vote and then to the governor’s desk.

Senate session begins at 10 Wednesday morning.