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Assembly approves bill to expand mastectomy coverage in Rhode Island

Assembly approves bill to expand mastectomy coverage in Rhode Island. (WJAR)

The Rhode Island House has approved legislation to ensure that insurance covers all costs of a mastectomy.

The State Assembly met Saturday to approve the bill. The measure eliminates provisions that allow insurers not to cover mastectomies, and also eliminates provisions that say they are allowed to require deductibles and copayments.

Democratic House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi says state law mandated insurance coverage for mastectomies in 2005, but insurers have since instituted high co-pays and deductibles. Shekarchi says breast cancer survivors have had to pay for necessary medical supplies after the surgery.

He wants insurers to cover all costs, without co-pays and deductibles.

Shekarchi says any loss from breast cancer shouldn't be "compounded" by trouble paying for treatment.

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