New Mexico to extend Medicaid to cover breast, cervical cancers

Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson on Tuesday approved New Mexico's request to extend Medicaid benefits to uninsured women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. Under the federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000, states can apply for a waiver allowing them to expand their Medicaid programs to cover women under age 65 who are screened through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and found to have either of the cancers. Federal funds pay for 85% of the extended coverage, with state tax dollars covering the remainder of the cost. New Mexico is the 47th state to receive the waiver; Texas received a waiver earlier this month.

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