New York Bill would require health insurers to cover prostate cancer screenings

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Each year in New York State, almost 15,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“It’s the number 3 cancer killer for men,” Senator James Tedisco (R-49th District) said. “27,000 men (in the U.S.) have died already this year from prostate cancer so it’s a serious problem, it’s an ongoing problem.”

Sen. Tedisco has brought forward legislation he is co-sponsoring that will require insurance companies to cover in full prostate cancer screenings for men over 40 with a history of prostate cancer in their family, and also for all men over the age of 50.

Prostate cancer incidence rate per 100,000 by County

 CasesAverage male populationCrudeAdjusted
Region/County201020112012Total2010-2012RateRate
Reg- 1 Long Island
Nassau 1,2551,1191,0303,404651,478174.2146.3
Suffolk 1,2701,1721,0163,458737,214156.4141.3
Region Total2,5252,2912,0466,8621,388,692164.7143.4
Reg- 2 New York City
Bronx 9331,0319212,885656,827146.4174.4
Kings 1,5271,8101,5184,8551,199,839134.9147.6
New York 1,1061,1571,0213,284755,128145.0139.7
Queens 1,5941,6671,4164,6771,092,854142.7141.7
Richmond 315343328986227,867144.2133.5
Region Total5,4756,0085,20416,6873,932,516141.4147.2
Reg- 3 Mid-Hudson
Dutchess 210260216686148,214154.3133.7
Orange 256228229713187,077127.0129.2
Putnam 82798524649,718164.9146.0
Rockland 300325247872154,694187.9175.9
Sullivan 64514816339,457137.7106.4
Ulster 13113813240190,643147.5116.0
Westchester 8078036662,276460,781164.6147.2
Region Total1,8501,8841,6235,3571,130,585157.9142.0
Reg- 4 Capital Region
Albany 190246204640147,302144.8127.6
Columbia 53574315331,509161.9108.5
Greene 54451811725,513152.9113.6
Rensselaer 10812311234378,885144.9127.1
Saratoga 124149131404108,786123.8105.0
Schenectady 94897025375,058112.497.4
Region Total6237095781,910467,052136.3114.7
Reg- 5 Mohawk Valley
Fulton 39382910627,303129.498.4
Herkimer 57535316331,639171.7124.8
Montgomery 2625156624,45390.070.2
Otsego 56442812830,004142.2104.6
Schoharie 2724166716,225137.797.4
Region Total205184141530129,624136.3101.0
Reg- 6 North Country
Clinton 79574518141,994143.7132.0
Essex 2637329520,315155.9108.5
Franklin 39404011928,384139.8136.5
Hamilton sss142,428192.292.1
Warren 40795617532,079181.8133.5
Washington 36613413132,642133.8107.2
Region Total227278210715157,841151.0123.3
Reg- 7 Tug Hill Seaway
Jefferson 79865522060,676120.9136.5
Lewis 1912215213,689126.6102.5
St. Lawrence 871198028657,016167.2149.0
Region Total185217156558131,381141.6138.1
Reg- 8 Central NY
Cayuga 57593314940,725122.097.3
Cortland 33383510624,138146.4124.7
Madison 70766521135,733196.8159.6
Oneida 229216216661116,649188.9154.0
Onondaga 4664944221,382225,337204.4182.0
Oswego 951167929060,819158.9142.7
Region Total9509998502,799503,402185.3158.9
Reg- 9 Southern Tier
Broome 20219012651897,679176.8142.1
Chenango 39413811824,984157.4111.5
Delaware 3628329623,873134.087.8
Tioga 71564216925,219223.4170.4
Tompkins 74703618050,318119.2129.5
Region Total4223852741,081222,074162.3131.6
Reg- 10 Finger Lakes
Chemung 76706020644,213155.3132.2
Livingston 47574815232,598155.4130.7
Monroe 6086585251,791360,323165.7149.0
Ontario 1271045929053,011182.4140.3
Schuyler 16149399,205141.297.3
Seneca 3524197818,468140.8113.9
Steuben 73647220949,152141.7105.3
Wayne 1041226629246,284210.3170.2
Yates 3020146412,304173.4124.4
Region Total1,1161,1338723,121625,558166.3141.3
Reg- 11 Western NY
Allegany 31363810524,574142.4115.0
Cattaraugus 75798123539,488198.4154.8
Chautauqua 22425819467666,292339.9267.6
Erie 8091,0819212,811443,754211.2178.9
Genesee 48484614229,815158.8129.5
Niagara 176189183548104,806174.3139.3
Orleans 2741319921,283155.1133.7
Wyoming 33493511722,889170.4153.5
Region Total1,4231,7811,5294,733752,901209.5173.7
New York State 15,01015,87813,50044,3889,441,625156.7145.3

Data: NY Department of Health

The bill would hopefully encourage more men to get screened before they start to experience problems by cutting out any costs associated with the procedure.

“We know that at 50 is probably usually the starting point, but those who have indicators in the past, genetically, we think we should get them in at 40.”

The bill is similar to the one Governor Andrew Cuomo passed in 2016 mandating that insurance companies cover breast cancer screenings.

“This is another case where if you don’t get out in front of this for an individual who can’t afford these types of things, it’s only going to cost us more in the future when they come down with prostate cancer and they have to be hospitalized for longer.”

The bill will be voted on once the legislative session is back in swing.

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