MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
Bill: A.4922 (Carrozza)
- An act to amend the Insurance Law in relation to providing insurance
coverage for annual mammograms for women over the age of forty.
Alliance for Affordable Health Care, a coalition of nearly 2,500
employers committed to keeping New Yorkís health care affordable,
supports a moratorium on all health insurance mandates until our state
joins with twenty-seven other states that require an examination of
costs and efficacy of all mandate proposals prior to legislative
consideration. Furthermore, this one-house bill actually diminishes the current mammography benefit
and presents significant efficacy concerns. For these reasons, the
Employer Alliance urges your opposition to this misguided legislation.
New Yorkís current mammography law is more comprehensive than A.4922
New York already has one of the most comprehensive mandated mammogram
laws in the nation. That law, most recently amended in 2003, requires
the coverage of mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 49 every
two years or more frequently upon the recommendation of a physician.
A.4922 seeks to make this coverage available annually commencing at age
forty. Our current law mirrors the recommendations of the National
Cancer Institute. This legislation takes the position advocated by the
American Cancer Society. While it is unfortunate that two leading
cancer advocacy organizations have endorsed different standards for
screenings, it would seem that the current mandate gives providers far
greater latitude to screen patients according to their best clinical
judgment. In fact, voting for this proposal may actually limit mammogram coverage for women between the ages of 40 and 49.
For instance, if a provider found clinical reasons to administer three
mammograms in the space of two years to a woman between ages 40-49, the
coverage of the third screening could be denied under this new
amendment. Conversely, if the clinician felt an annual screening was
appropriate, they can order such a test at their own discretion under
the current guideline.
Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care urges lawmakers to look
beyond politics and consider the policy implications of passing
legislation that could promote unhealthy and inappropriate screenings
while conceivably diminishing access to needed care. As employers who
are paying significant premium dollars to provide health care to our
employees, we want to ensure those dollars are being spent effectively.
Until consensus on the appropriate screening intervals for mammograms
is reached, New Yorkís current mandate is more than sufficient to meet
the health needs of women statewide.
For all these reasons, the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care opposes A.4922.
Employer Alliance For Affordable Health Care
PO Box 1412
Albany, New York 12201-1412
Scott Miller, Chairman