Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that she has signed new state legislation that will help breast cancer survivors throughout New York during their recovery.

Legislation (A.8537/S.7881) will allow breast cancer survivors to have proper insurance coverage for chest reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy or partial mastectomy — which are treatment options in which breast tissue is surgically removed to treat cancer.

Women who undergo a mastectomy or partial mastectomy have the option of either getting breast reconstruction surgeries or chest wall reconstruction surgery.

Prior to this new legislation, the major issue was that women could only get insurance for breast reconstruction surgeries, while chest wall reconstruction was not insurable. This is because many insurers considered chest wall reconstruction to be a purely cosmetic procedure, according to the legislation announcement press release.

Governor Hochul says that the newly signed legislation will allow women to be insured for both breast reconstruction and chest wall reconstruction surgeries, which will give them the freedom to choose what their post-mastectomy bodies will look like.

In addition, Governor Hochul also says the new legislation will ensure that New York doctors discuss the option of chest wall reconstruction surgery with patients. This will help breast cancer survivors to make better-informed decisions about their post-mastectomy surgery options.

“Breast cancer survivors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by our health care system,” Hochul said.

“Women who choose chest wall reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy will now have insurance coverage for the procedure and the necessary information to select this option. I am proud to sign this law during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and urge every woman in New York to get a mammogram this year.”

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