Covering the Cost Of Mammograms If You Can’t

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When it’s caught early, breast cancer has the best chance for successful treatment. That’s why it’s so important to get an annual mammogram. That’s also why Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) is so valuable to women in our region. The program pays for mammograms and cervical cancer screenings, as well as follow-up exams and diagnostic testing, for women who are underinsured, have no insurance, or whose income qualifies them for assistance.

BCCP is managed in Southwest Ohio by Premier Community Health and funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Health to assist women within specific income levels.

For women in need whose income exceeds BCCP guidelines, the Premier Community Health voucher program can help to pay for screening and diagnostic testing. “This additional funding allows the program to serve more women,” explains BCCP program coordinator Rachel Parrill, PhD, RN. “Our goal is to ensure that no woman foregoes a mammogram, cervical cancer screening, or follow-up care due to financial concerns.”

Beyond the Premier Community Health voucher program, Premier Health’s foundations also play an essential role in ensuring that women in Southwest Ohio can get the care they need. Parrill praises “the dedicated members of our hospital foundations — Atrium Medical Center Foundation, Good Samaritan Foundation-Dayton, Miami Valley Hospital Foundation, and Upper Valley Medical Center Foundation — along with the community partners they work with, for providing additional support to women in need.”

For eligible women, the foundations can help cover the costs of screening and noninvasive diagnostic testing, lymphedema garments, and therapies to support recovery from cancer.

BCCP also assists women in scheduling their mammogram or cervical cancer screening at a location that is most convenient for them, Parrill explains. Options include any Premier Health hospital or breast imaging center, Premier Health’s mobile mammography coach, and other health care locations throughout the region. “We also help schedule follow-up appointments and are here to answer questions. Our support is ongoing.” 

Although the number of women who were helped in 2020 was lower due to COVID-19, “last year we still screened 827 women for breast cancer and 317 for cervical cancer,” Parrill reports. “We’re boosting efforts to get the word out, and hope to assist many more women this year and in the future,” she adds. “If you’re due for your mammogram or cervical cancer screening but can’t afford it, we want you to know there is help available. Early detection is so important.” 

To enroll in the program, or to learn more about BCCP and to see if you qualify, call (866) 838-8973(866) 838-8973.

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