I was told my insurance might help pay for mastectomy bras and breast forms. Is that true?
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) is a federal law that provides protection to patients who choose to have breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy. Prostheses and treatment of physical complications of all stages related to the mastectomy are covered.
With that information in mind, any woman will be eligible for products for the rest of her life, after diagnosis of a lumpectomy, single or double mastectomy. She will have coverage for external breast prostheses (lightweight and silicone) and comfortable, beautiful and supportive bras and camisoles. Radiation can reduce the breast size from a half to a full cup size, so partial forms used to create balance are available. Following a reconstructive surgery, there may still be lack of projection or balance, but with detailed fitter measurements and photos, insurance will continue to cover these items for as long as medically necessary. Many insurance companies also provide wigs for those undergoing chemotherapy.
Each insurance company has a different policy pertaining to quantities and patient expenses, but all major insurances including Medicare, provide some level of coverage.
A yearly prescription for mastectomy products from a treating physician must be on file as well.
Teresa Kelly, C.F.M.
Silhouette Mastectomy Boutique