Early detection is key to surviving breast and cervical cancer, but uninsured and low-income women are the least likely to get screened for these diseases because they cannot afford the high cost of diagnostic testing.
The HealthyWoman Program helps women overcome the financial barriers to care and empowers them to seek essential cancer screening, preventative care and early treatment. Funded through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the HealthyWoman Program provides a full-range of screening and diagnostic services.
Who is eligible for the HealthyWoman Project?
- Women who are between the ages of 40-65 (other ages may also be eligable under certain circumstances)
- No insurance or limited insurance. If you have Medicare Part B enrolled, Medicaid, or an HMO you are not eligible
2012 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines
250% of Poverty
Effective March 1, 2012
|FAMILY SIZE||GROSS MONTHLY INCOME||
250% OF POVERTY ANNUAL INCOME
|Each Additional Person||$838||$10,050|
What happens at my appointment?
You will be asked to fill out an enrollment form to verify your age and income, and read and sign a consent form to become a HealthyWoman client.
The visit includes a clinical breast examination and self breast exam instruction, a pelvic exam and Pap test. You will be referred for a mammogram at a participating mammography site. These services are free of charge to eligible women. Follow-up diagnostic care for certain abnormal results may also be provided free of charge.
Must I bring age or income documentation?
No, you verify your age and income when you fill out the enrollment form and sign the consent form.
I am under the age of 40 and have no insurance. Can I go to a HealthyWoman site?
You may be eligible for the HealthyWoman Program if you have found a lump in your breast or you have had a previous Pap test with the results being High Grade SIL or Squamous Cell Cancer. If you have found a lump, but the physician or practitioner feels it is a cyst and not an abnormality, you would not be eligible for a mammogram through the project.
What happens if the doctor finds a lump?
If the doctor or practitioner finds a lump while performing the clinical breast exam, you will be referred for a diagnostic mammogram, and other diagnostic tests if needed such as an ultrasound or visit with a surgeon. If the results of these diagnostic tests suggest an abnormality or are suggestive of malignancy, the project may pay for a biopsy.
If a biopsy is needed, the screening site sends a biopsy request to the Regional Program Manager for approval. You will be required to apply for Medical Assistance during this process. However, the biopsy will not be delayed while the Medical Assistance application is pending. If you are approved for Medical Assistance, they will pay for the biopsy. If you are denied Medical Assistance, the HealthyWoman Program will pay for the biopsy (provided it has been pre-approved by the Department of Health).
The HealthyWoman Program works with the Department of Welfare with a program called the Breast and Cervical Prevention and Treatment Program (BCCPT) to ensure that women who have been diagnosed through HealthyWoman with breast or cervical cancer or a pre-cancerous condition will receive the medical care they need through the BCCPT.
Benefits of the HealthyWoman Program
The HealthyWoman Program is an investment in preventative care and early treatment for the mature women through education on risk factors, diagnostic testing and follow-up care.
- If cervical cancer is detected early enough it is almost 100% curable.
- Breast cancer and cervical cancer can be detected early through early detection methods like mammograms, Pap tests, and pelvic exams.
- Educating women on the proper way to perform self breast exams results in higher numbers of early detection and treatment for breast cancer.