Help available for uninsured women who have cancer

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The Human Services Department's Medical Assistance Program is now providing coverage for breast and cervical cancer treatment for uninsured women.

The territory recently received approval to offer coverage for breast and cervical cancer treatment to uninsured women from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through an amendment to the Medicaid State Plan. The plan acts as a contract between the V.I. government and the federal government pertaining to management and operations of the Medical Assistance Program in the territory.

Applicants are not required to prove income or assets, but must verify U.S. citizenship and V.I. residency and age (younger than 65) and that they are uninsured.

Also to be eligible, women must have proof of a diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer at a Centers for Disease Control-approved site, the nearest of which is in Puerto Rico.

Women who have tested positive for breast or cervical cancer at the Health Department clinics - the Frederiksted Health Center on St. Croix or the East End Medical Center on St. Thomas - must have their diagnosis confirmed at the CDC site and return to the Virgin Islands for treatment. Air travel will be provided through the Medical Assistance Program.

The Human Services Department is scheduled to work with consultants in the next few weeks to finalize the operational and application process. In the interim, those interested in the program can contact the Medical Assistance Program office at 715-6929 on St. Thomas or 773-1311 on St. Croix.

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