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Women's Rights & Cancer Act

Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act 1998

In 1998, the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act became a federal law.  This federal mandate guarantees a woman's right to breast reconstruction of the cancer breast, and to symmetry procedures for the healthy breast. 

Your Rights

Specifically, the law mandates that insurers who cover mastectomy also cover:

  • Reconstruction of the breast that was removed by mastectomy

  • Symmetry or balancing procedures for the non-cancer breast

  • External breast prostheses (a soft form that fits into a bra) during or after your reconstruction

  • Complications of mastectomy care, including lymphedema 

While women remain responsible for their insurance deductible, reconstructive breast services including symmetry procedures for the healthy breast side are typically covered by insurance.  This includes reconstructive procedures that occur at the time of mastectomy (immediate reconstruction), reconstructive procedures that occur distant from a mastectomy (delayed reconstruction), and symmetry procedures that occur at any time point. 

Learn More

at for more information on the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act from the American Cancer Society.

Image by Greg Rosenke
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