Follow-up breast exams can cost patients hundreds of dollars. The state House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ease this financial burden on Missouri patients.

State Representative Brenda Shields, R-St. Joseph, is proposing to require health insurance companies to pay for follow-up exams used to diagnose breast cancer if a mammogram finds potential problems.

“Sixteen-percent of women that have a screening mammogram will need this type of follow up and early detection will save us $26 billion annually in health care costs. More importantly, it will save women’s lives,” said Shields.

State Representative Brian Seitz, R-Branson, throws his support behind the bill.

“I think most in the body would realize that I’m the right wing of the right wing,” he said. “This bill will be extremely helpful to save money for the state, to save money for insurance companies, and we at some times, we just have to do the right thing.”

The House voted 126-29 in support of the plan.

On the opposing side, State Representative Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, said the bill would cause healthcare costs to rise.

Shields responded by saying many other conservative states have already passed a similar bill, including Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

The Missouri Senate will consider the bill next.

To view House Bill 575, click here.

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