A breast cancer survivor from Mason City watched as the Iowa House approved a bill designed to aid Iowans who’ve been denied insurance coverage. The bill in its original form would have forced insurance companies to pay for mammograms for women with a family history of breast cancer, and the insurance industry successfully lobbied against that. The bill as it passed the House merely forces insurance companies to print a toll-free number on insurance cards. Folks who call the number get linked to a special state review process that could reverse insurance company decisions. Forty-year-old Holly Mennen of Mason City wishes she’d known how to fight her insurance company two years ago when they refused to cover the cost of a mammogram after her doctor recommended it. Mennen couldn’t afford to pay for the mammogram herself, so she didn’t get one. Eight months later she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mennen wishes she’d found out about the state appeal process so she could have gotten that mammogram earlier. Doctors gave Mennen a clean bill of health at her last check-up and her hair is starting to grow back. The legislation Mennen lobbied for passed the House on a unanimous vote yesterday and now goes before the state Senate.
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