SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lawmakers have finalized a bill to help remove financial barriers to catching breast cancer. House Bill 27, which limits how insurance plans can charge customers, has passed the Legislature and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

The bill prohibits some insurance plans from imposing cost sharing for diagnostic breast exams. That means many group health insurance policies cannot charge a deductible for breast exams.

The limits, however, do not apply to high deductible plans with health savings accounts until the deductible has been met, according to an analysis of the bill. Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe) and Sen. Liz Stefanics (D-Bernalillo, Lincoln, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Torrance and Valencia) are the sponsors behind it.

“Early detection is critical in successfully treating breast cancer and ongoing screenings are vital for survivors. Yet too many New Mexicans are currently paying hundreds of their own hard-earned dollars per visit, or skipping recommended tests simply because they can’t afford them,” Rep. Chandler said in a press release. “I’m so happy to see this life-saving bill unanimously pass the legislature and I look forward to the Governor signing it into law.” 

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham now has until April 7 to either approve or veto the bill. If approved, the changes would affect health insurance policies renewed or started after 2023.