Mammography Services For All Cook County Uninsured Women

No income requirements necessary to receive services

Cook County, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Women who need mammograms need only go as far as their phone to find early detection screening services in Illinois. Free mammography, breast exams, pelvic exams and Pap tests are available to all uninsured Illinois women through the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP). Funded cooperatively by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the program was created to provide breast and cervical cancer screening and referrals to uninsured women. In suburban Cook County, the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) is the lead agency for IBCCP.

"We cannot say enough about the value of early detection services, yet there are so many women who don’t know they can receive them," said Stephen A. Martin, Jr., Ph.D, M.P.H., chief operating officer of CCDPH. "There is no reason why a woman who needs a mammogram cannot get one."

IBCCP has been limited to uninsured women who make less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level. But Governor Rod Blagojevich announced earlier this week that IBCCP would expand October 1, 2007 to include any uninsured woman, regardless of her income. About 260,000 additional women will become eligible in the state.

To enroll in the IBCCP program, women should phone the IDPH toll free Women’s Health-Line at 888-522-1282. The Women’s Health-Line staff will refer women to the respective lead agency.

Who is eligible?

  • Uninsured women in Illinois, of any income.
  • Uninsured women aged 40 to 64 may receive mammograms and clinical breast exams.
  • Uninsured women aged 35 to 64 may receive pelvic exams and Pap tests.
  • Women of any age who have symptoms of breast or cervical cancer may receive screenings.

If a woman is diagnosed with a cancerous condition, case managers will assist to fill out the necessary paperwork to ensure proper follow up for medical care. As of September 1, 2006 under the Healthcare Benefits for Persons with Breast or Cervical Cancer Act, any woman diagnosed with breast cancer, cervical cancer and/or a precancerous cervical condition, who meets the eligibility criteria, can be referred for health benefits for treatment.

"No woman should ever feel as though she has no options," added Dr. Martin.

IBCCP was created as a way to reduce breast and cervical cancer mortality by providing quality screening and diagnostic services that promote early detection.

For information contact the Cook County Department of Public Health at 708-492-2000. Or visit http://www.cancerscreening.illinois.gov/