Cost of mammograms — when breast exams leave women with unexpected bills: CBS News

Medical Price video

“More than 30 million women get mammograms a year. And while many thought they were free and preventative, they ended up with big bills,” Anna Werner, our partner, writes over at CBS News. “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for free mammograms every one to two years for women aged 40 and over. But many are called back for a second look and wind up with unexpected bills for hundreds of dollars,  In Topeka, Kansas, Sonya Johnson said she went for her regular mammogram, then got a call. Doctors saw something unusual in the images. ‘I kind of panicked, I was like, oh my gosh, you saw what?’ she said.   Johnson said she has dense breast tissue, a common condition. Doctors did ultrasounds on both breasts and found that there was nothing to worry about. But the bill for the followup test was $646, Johnson said.  ‘I didn’t even think that I was going to get charged,’ she said. ‘It’s preventative, and my first appointment didn’t cost me anything, not even a copayment. So I’m thinking, they called me, and I wasn’t expecting a bill at all.'” Anna Werner, “Cost of mammograms: Preventative breast exams leave women with unexpected bills,” CBS News.

Related:

Oct. 31: CBS Evening News, “The hidden cost of mammograms.”After the segment ran, we received hundreds of emails and shares from women with similar problems, and charges ranging into the thousands of dollars. Many of them said they’d stopped getting mammograms because the cost was so high.

Dec. 4: CBS This Morning, “‘I was being penalized for having breast cancer’: Survivor fights with insurance over follow-up tests.”

Dec. 4: CBS Evening News, “Breast cancer survivors hit with unexpected costs for diagnostic mammograms.”