Legislation introduced by Representative La Shawn K. Ford and ZERO to be signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker
Chicago, IL, June 10, 2022 – ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer is proud to support a lifesaving legislative effort that will increase access to prostate cancer screening by ensuring that screening is available without co-pays or other cost-sharing. Illinois HB 5318 was offered by Representative La Shawn K. Ford, a prostate cancer survivor, and passed by the Illinois General Assembly in March of 2022. The bill will be signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on Friday, June 10 at 2 pm at the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center.
Illinois HB 5318, which was also supported by the American Urological Association and American Association of Clinical Urologists, and a coalition of patient and provider groups, will provide “coverage for an annual prostate cancer screening for male insureds, without imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement.” This includes PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing and digital rectal examinations, in addition to “subsequent follow-up testing as directed by a healthcare provider, including, but not limited to, urinary analysis, serum biomarkers, and medical imaging.”
“Removing barriers such as financial roadblocks makes early detection more accessible and affordable for men, and helps save lives,” said Jamie Bearse, ZERO’s CEO and President. “ZERO is proud to have led the advocacy effort in support of this influential legislation in Illinois, and is grateful to politicians such as Representative Ford and Governor Pritzker for their support and work in the fight against prostate cancer.”
Early detection is key to survival, as 98% of men survive at least five years when prostate cancer is caught early. However, according to the American Cancer Society, for “distant” prostate cancer, or cancer that has spread to bones, organs, or distant lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate drops from 98% to 31%.
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.
The bill will be signed at UIC Surgical Innovation Training Lab, North Tower, Ground Floor; 912 S Wood Ave., Chicago, IL. Attendees should enter through the main entrance on Wood St., where they will be directed down to the Surgical Innovation Training Lab.
For more information on advocacy efforts regarding prostate cancer across the nation, visit zerocancer.org/advocacy.
About ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer
ZERO — The End of 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.