Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free Mammograms in Virginia - Are you uninsured or underinsured? You may qualify.

I wrote this article, Guide to Free Mammograms for Virginia's Uninsured/Underinsured Women, earlier this year. I had been doing some research for a family member in another state who is uninsured and sorely in need of some well-woman care. I hopefully found her some resources in her state, but wondered how many women in my own state were in the same boat that she was in? Where do you get free mammograms in Virginia?

In my research, I did find that men, too, can qualify for free mammograms. Men can and do get breast cancer, though when you think of breast cancer, you think of a female face. Like virtually all government-run programs, you have to meet their rubric. Income is probably the biggest obstacle because anyone who lives in Virginia knows that the Cost of Living, particularly around DC, is quite high.

Also, for younger women, that is, those under 40, the Every Woman's Life program may exempt you. While breast cancer does strike older women, I know that it can strike women in their 30s. My younger cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer last year when I was a young 35. This year, I had to have a diagnostic mammogram myself due to a concerning issue, which thankfully turned out to be nothing. However, I couldn't help but wonder how women my age who don't qualify for free mammogram manage. It is scary to have your doctor worry about a lump and then have to wait to get in for a mammogram. It was a very tense few weeks and I can't imagine how women who can't afford these diagnostic tests feel.

So, if you know someone who needs information on how to get a free mammogram in Virginia, please hook them up with a link. Even if they don't qualify under one program that doesn't mean they are out of options. There may be a lesser known program that can help them get the care they need.
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