Fact Sheet on Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) provides protections for individuals who elect breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Under WHCRA, group health plans offering mastectomy coverage must provide coverage for certain services relating to the mastectomy in a manner determined in consultation with the attending physician and the patient. The required coverage includes: all stages of reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy was performed; surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance; prostheses; and treatment of physical complications of the mastectomy, including lymphedema. Additional information on WHCRA is available in the publication Your Rights After A Mastectomy. Information for group health plans and employers on WHCRA and other health benefit law requirements is available in the publication Compliance Assistance Guide – Health Benefits Coverage Under Federal Law. For more info, go to http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fswhcra.html.

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