GLOWIAK HILTON HB 5334OAKBROOK TERRACE – To streamline the detection process and determine hereditary risks for breast and ovarian cancers in women, a new law that passed with support from State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton requires insurance companies to cover the cost of genetic testing kits.

“Early detection through genetic testing is essential for women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancers,” said Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs). “By requiring insurance coverage for genetic testing, Illinois can offer comfort to women at the most risk.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the genes most commonly detected in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. About 3% of breast cancers, approximately 7,500 women per year, and 10% of ovarian cancers, an estimated 2,000 women per year, result from inherited mutations.

Once a test is recommended by a health care provider, the law requires insurance coverage for costs associated with genetic testing for the BRCA1 and 2 genes. The measure applies to Illinois residents with individual or group insurance policies issued on or after Jan. 1, 2024.

The Illinois Insurance code requires individual and group insurance health plans to cover annual cancer screenings for women who have tested positive for BRCA1 or 2 mutations. However, the code did not require health insurance plans to cover the gene mutation testing. Some insurance companies have specific genetic testing criteria or do not cover genetic testing in certain situations, even when considered medically necessary.

“With this law, Illinois is creating a reliable process for at-risk women to undergo genetic mutation testing,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Hereditary breast and ovarian cancers are proven to pose significant threats to women’s health, and preventative medical treatment can be beneficial once the risks are determined.”

The law, previously House Bill 5334, takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.