Breast Cancer Screening Coverage Expanded for Servicemembers and Veterans on TRICARE Following Tester Push

Ranking Member: “In the coming weeks, the Defense Department will finally expand coverage for 3D mammography—proven to be among the most effective and innovative methods for detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages”

(U.S. Senate) – Following efforts by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester, the Department of Defense announced that it will implement a new policy covering 3D breast cancer screening for female servicemembers and veterans on TRICARE starting at the end of the month.

This announcement follows Tester’s bipartisan push to provide servicemembers, retirees, and their families with this life-saving coverage through his Better and Robust Screening Today (BRST) Act.

“This is welcome news for female servicemembers and veterans on TRICARE who have waited years for this critical coverage,” said Ranking Member Tester. “In the coming weeks, the Defense Department will finally expand coverage for 3D mammography—proven to be among the most effective and innovative methods for detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages. This long-overdue decision will no doubt save the lives of veterans and women in uniform.”

Beginning May 29, TRICARE will cover annual 3D mammography screenings, or Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT). Retroactive reimbursement is available for those who received DBT screenings between January 1, 2020 and May 29, 2020.

Tester has been one of Congress’ staunchest advocates when it comes to providing equitable care and services to women veterans. At the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s first markup this year, Tester successfully shepherded several sections of the Deborah Sampson Act—bipartisan legislation to eliminate barriers to care and services to women who served in the military—through committee. The bill also helps ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs can effectively address the needs of women veterans who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment, and go without needed health care.