WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today applauded the Department of Defense for its decision to expand TRICARE coverage to include HPV DNA testing for cervical cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over the past 40 years the number of cervical cancer deaths has decreased as a result of regular cervical cancer screening.
According to information provided by the Department of Defense, preauthorization for the HPV test will not be required and beneficiaries will have no cost sharing for these tests. TRICARE has stated that the effective date of coverage for HPV DNA test for cervical cancer will be retroactive to September 7, 2010.
“Cancer screenings are critical to improving cancer survival rates, and I applaud TRICARE for expanding its coverage to include the enhanced screening to help detect cancers when they are most treatable,” said Senator Cardin. “TRICARE provides members of the Armed Services, their families and retirees with top-notch health care and I am pleased that the program will now provide coverage for this important, lifesaving test.”
Senator Cardin has been a long-time advocate for the inclusion of cancer screenings as a guaranteed benefit in health insurance plans. As a member of the House of Representatives, he authored bipartisan legislation that was enacted in 1997 to include cervical, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer screenings as a covered benefit in the Medicare program. His legislation to eliminate cost sharing for these benefits was included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.