Breast Cancer Reconstruction, Be Aware of Your Rights
Why Breast Cancer Reconstruction is Important
Breast surgery for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes accounts for a large portion of my plastic surgery practice and is a life-changing procedure that I feel passionately about. Being that October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” I thought it would be pertinent to talk about breast cancer reconstruction. Every woman should know her rights when it comes to insurance coverage for the surgery every survivor deserves.
Is Breast Cancer Reconstruction Surgery Covered by Health Insurance?
This is one of the more common questions I am asked by my breast cancer patients. The answer to this question may impact a woman’s ability to elect for reconstructive breast surgery. The simple answer is “yes,” thanks to the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), which makes insurance coverage for breast cancer reconstruction a federal law. It was signed into law in 1998 and is enforced by The United States Department of Labor and Health and Human Services. Thankfully, there are very few exceptions to this law.
What Laws or Exceptions do I need to know?
WHCRA mandates insurance coverage for breast reconstruction of a breast removed by a mastectomy, symmetry procedures to make breasts symmetrical, or balanced, external breast prostheses that are needed before and during reconstruction, and physical complications at all stages of a mastectomy, such as lymphedema.
Please share this information!
We all have friends and family members who have been touched by breast cancer; help them learn more. Breast cancer reconstruction should be the right of any brave survivor of breast cancer; help those you know and love to get what they deserve and know the full extent of their rights regarding breast cancer reconstruction.