Gov. Pritzker Signs Legislation Expanding Access to Prostate Cancer Screenings
Press Release - Friday, June 10, 2022
New law builds on the administration's record investments in equity focused healthcare services
CHICAGO - In recognition of National Men's Health Month, Governor JB Pritzker today signed legislation requiring health insurance and managed care plans to allow for prostate cancer screenings.
Under House Bill 5318, health insurance and managed care plans are required to provide prostate cancer screenings without imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement. This legislation is effective Jan. 1, 2024.
"Preventative healthcare is the best healthcare of all, and it shouldn't break the bank to access it," said Gov. JB Pritzker. "My administration is hard at work knocking down the walls that too often separate working families from their healthiest, happiest lives. In Illinois, we're building the kind of healthcare system that people deserve because we know that healthcare is a right, not a privilege."
About 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, with an average diagnosis age of 66. Roughly 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, although diagnosis is rare in men under 40. In 2022 alone, there have been roughly 268,000 new cases of prostate cancer, with 34,500 deaths from the disease.
Since Governor Pritzker took office, the administration has taken action to expand access to patient-centered, equitable healthcare systems in historically underserved communities. This includes the elimination of the Medicaid backlog and the expansion of telehealth coverage, providing quality healthcare services to vulnerable populations allowing for the initial signs of cancer or other diseases to be identified sooner, regardless of where the patient resides.
Additionally, earlier this week, the governor announced a $20 million investment from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan to establish the new, state-of-the-art Humboldt Park Health Wellness Center¬.
"I know the personal cost of waiting too long to be diagnosed with prostate cancer - including more aggressive treatment, more side effects, and more anguish for a man and his loved ones," said Representative La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago). "For Black men especially, early prostate cancer screening and diagnosis can be the difference between successful treatment and a life that ends too soon. I'm proud to know that, because of HB 5318, the cost of screening won't be a barrier for so many men in Illinois."
"It's important to be aware of your health risks — this bill will make prostate cancer screenings more accessible for men across the state," said State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago). "Prostate cancer is life threatening — a simple test can detect it early and save a life."
"I am pleased to have supported HB5318 through the General Assembly and to be a witness as Governor Pritzker signs it into law," said State Representative Nicholas Smith (D-Chicago). "This lifesaving legislation will ensure prostate cancer screening is available without co-pays or other cost-sharing. By making screenings more available and accessible to all men in Illinois, high-risk individuals can take the necessary precautions early without financial barriers."
"Expanding access to affordable prostate cancer screenings is a vital part of raising the quality of healthcare in Illinois," said State Representative Lakesia Collins (D-Chicago). "Prostate cancer affects countless men as they get older and catching it early will save lives. Signing this legislation into law creates a safer future for tens of thousands of Illinois men."
"Removing barriers such as financial roadblocks make early detection more accessible and affordable for men, and helps save lives," said Jamie Bearse, ZERO's CEO and President. "ZERO is proud to have led the advocacy effort in support of this influential legislation in Illinois and is grateful to politicians such as Representative Ford and Governor Pritzker for their support and work in the fight against prostate cancer."
"Illinois has just taken a huge step forward in the fight against prostate cancer," said John Salata, a cancer survivor and ZERO advocate. "Early detection is key to a positive outcome and men will no longer have a cost barrier when it comes to screening."