LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Lewis County health officials are praising a new law signed this month by Governor Cuomo which requires large group insurers to cover medically necessary mammograms for women under 40.
The legislation, known as Shannon’s Law, was named after a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer who passed away at 31 years old.
Previously, only women 40 and older were eligible for coverage.
Lewis County General Hospital workers say they perform more than 3,000 mammograms a year.
"What this does is it takes away one of the big barriers to a patient making the decision to come in and get screened, especially at a young age. This legislation basically insuring that the patient's going to be able to be screened with no cost to the patient is really important," said Rob Pfeiffer, director of radiology at Lewis County General Hospital.
According to the state, more than 12,000 cases of breast cancer are detected annually in women under the age of 40.
Officials add if detected early enough, breast cancer is very treatable.