In 2011, I was one of three breast cancer survivors to create an organization called Breastoration to educate, advocate for, and financially assist women facing mastectomies. In 2015, Breastoration discovered several Louisiana laws which placed significant insurance coverage impediments in the paths of these women.
In cooperation with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, where I serve as the volunteer chairman of public policy under the guidance of COO, Charmaine Caccioppi, Breastoration set to out create the strongest breast reconstruction insurance coverage bill in the nation. We succeeded!
The new laws, authored by Rep. Helena Moreno, makes it clear that: (1) no phase of any breast reconstruction surgery will be deemed cosmetic surgery; (2) a mastectomy and reconstruction do no have to be performed under the same plan; (3) if an insurance plan covers a mastectomy, it must also cover breast reconstruction; (4) a woman in consultation with her physician decides which type of reconstruction is best for her; (5) an insurance plan cannot dictate which breast reconstruction procedure it will cover; (5) an insurance provider cannot reduce or limit coverage for the patient or reimbursement to a surgeon to induce the selection of a lower cost reconstruction procedure.
The bottom line is that women fighting for their lives due to breast cancer should not also have to fight with their insurance companies. Breastoration owes a great debt of gratitude to the United Way of Southest Louisiana, a true champion for making certain that all women have access to health care and medically-necessary treatments and surgeries, and also to the caring members of the Louisiana Legislature who unanimously passed these strong laws to benefit women with breast cancer.
Public Policy Chair and Emeritus Board Member
United Way of Southeast Louisiana