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STATE | LA Governor Signs Breast Reconstruction Rights Bill into Law

On May 19, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards enacted legislation that provides greater insurance coverage for breast reconstruction following mastectomy. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Helena Moreno, strengthens the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 in the state by requiring that rights afforded under the 1998 federal law are upheld by all health insurers in Louisiana. It also clarifies that all stages of breast reconstruction are medically necessary and should not be excluded from coverage. The legislation mandates that all health insurance plans in Louisiana notify enrollees of this benefit in the annual explanation of benefits.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons wrote to Governor Bel Edwards in May prior to the bill's passage, urging the Governor to enact the legislation. According to the Louisiana state legislature, 3,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Louisiana every year, and 51 percent of all women diagnosed with breast cancer will undergo a mastectomy as part of their treatment.