Healthcare coverage might not include high-tech breast cancer screenings
- Working women and their employee benefits managers might be surprised to know that not all healthcare plans cover the cost of 3-D mammography, a sophisticated technology that provides more precise breast cancer detection, SHRM reports. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a nonprofit consortium of cancer centers, recommends 3-D breast cancer screenings.
- A survey by Bright Pink, a nonprofit advocate of early breast and ovarian cancer testing, shows that some respondents didn’t know their employer-sponsored health plan might not cover 3-D mammograms. Many of the respondents worked for corporations listed as best places to work for women, where support for preventive health screening is usually strong. The survey polled 1,500 women and 31 benefits specialists.
- The survey also shows that 20% of HR managers wrongly assume their health plans cover 3-D mammography screenings, while 31% simply don’t know whether their plans do or not. Although 94% of women reported being very or somewhat satisfied with their plan’s coverage of women’s health services, only one national insurer’s plan pays for 3-D mammograms.
HR not only knows the importance of early cancer screening, but also the value of wellness programs that help keep employees healthier and more productive on the job.
Women, and workers in general, are attracted to companies that offer comprehensive benefits plans. In Bright Pink’s survey, 60% of the benefits managers were willing to talk to their health plan providers to make sure 3-D mammograms are covered. Such benefits are also a key part of ensuring those with cancer feel welcomed at work and help ensure retention of such employees.
Cancer is a protected disability under the ADA, as well, so employers must keep that in mind when making accommodations.