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Media Contact:

ZERO Prostate Cancer
Jessica Fetrow, Digital Media Coordinator

American Urological Association
Caitlin Lukacs, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

American Association of Clinical Urologists
Kristin Jimison, Director, Legislative Affairs
847.306.6144 Direct     

New Legislation Proposed to Assist with Financial Barriers to Prostate Screening in California

Assemblymember Michael Gipson’s new legislation allows for no-cost prostate cancer screening starting in 2024

Washington, D.C., February 15, 2023 – A lifesaving legislative effort has been introduced in the state of California that will increase access to prostate cancer screening by ensuring that screening is available without co-pays or other cost-sharing. 

California HB AB 632, supported by State Assemblymember Michael Gipson, “would prohibit a health care service plan or a health insurance policy issued, amended, renewed, or delivered on or after January 1, 2024, from applying a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance to coverage for prostate cancer screening services for an enrollee or insured who is 55 years of age or older or who is 40 years of age or older and is high risk, as determined by the attending or treating health care provider,” and defining “high risk” as “ Black, has a family history of prostate cancer, has a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer, or is a veteran.” 

ZERO Prostate Cancer, the American Association of Clinical Urologists, and the American Urological Association are working to pass legislation in states across the country to increase access to prostate cancer screening and are building a coalition of partners in support of California HB AB 632. 

“Eliminating out-of-pocket costs for prostate cancer screening removes a key barrier to early prostate cancer diagnosis, allowing more high-risk men to be diagnosed at the early stages when they are most likely to survive,” said Jamie Bearse, ZERO’s President and CEO. “Thanks to Assemblymember Gipson, if passed, HB AB632 would save the lives of countless high-risk men, such as Black men and Veterans, across California, and ZERO Prostate Cancer is proud to be a supporter of this bill.” 

“The introduction of AB 632 is a huge accomplishment for the state of California,” said Mark T. Edney, MD, MBA, chair of the American Urological Association’s State Advocacy Committee. “Urology patients continue to suffer the damage done by the United States Preventative Services Task Force’s 2012 pronouncement against PSA screening and it is state-level bills like this one in California—and others already enacted in several additional states—that will significantly reduce barriers to screening for the leading cause of cancer in men and the second leading cause of male cancer death as of 2022.” 

“Early detection of prostate cancer is the best way to save lives,” said Harbhajan Singh Ajrawat, MD, AACU State Society Network Committee Chair. “Expanding access to no-cost prostate cancer screening will be a huge win for so many patients and physicians, and the AACU is thrilled to be a partner in advancing 632 in California.

If passed, California would become one of only five states that provide cost-free prostate cancer screenings. Most recently, Illinois passed legislation to make prostate cancer screening available without co-pays or other cost-sharing, which will go into effect in 2024. Illinois will follow in the footsteps of New York, which in January of 2019 became the first state in the country to pass a law that supports full insurance coverage of the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, as well as Maryland and Rhode Island, all of which have eliminated co-pays or cost-sharing fees for prostate cancer screening. 

For more information on advocacy efforts regarding prostate cancer across the nation, visit zerocancer.org/advocacy.

About ZERO Prostate Cancer
ZERO Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer and help all who are impacted. ZERO advances research, provides support, and creates solutions to achieve health equity to meet the most critical needs of our community. From early detection to survivorship, ZERO is the premier resource for prostate cancer patients and their families to access comprehensive support, make meaningful connections, and take action to save lives. Our dedicated national and chapter staff is joined with a growing team of passionate volunteer champions to increase advocacy, awareness, and community engagement to ZERO out prostate cancer. ZERO is recognized with four out of four stars by Charity Navigator and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. ZERO spends more on programs than any other prostate cancer charity, dedicating 85 cents of every dollar to support, education, and research.

About the American Urological Association:
Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology and has nearly 24,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.

About the American Association of Clinical Urologists:
Founded in 1968, The American Association of Clinical Urologists is dedicated to developing and advancing health policy education as it affects urologic practice in order to preserve and promote the professional autonomy of its members and support the highest quality of care for patients.

Together, we can END prostate cancer.

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