Medical Assistance is also available to women who have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer and do not qualify for full Medicaid benefits. This program provides treatment for breast or cervical cancer to Minnesota women who are under age 65, and have been screened by the Sage Screening Program. Those who qualify for coverage through Sage will qualify for Medical Assistance for Breast and Cervical Cancer (MA-BC), though others who have been previously diagnosed and need treatment for which they cannot get coverage are also welcome to apply. There is no income or asset limit for women who apply for MA-BC. As long as you are unable to get your treatment covered, even if you have health insurance, you can be found eligible.
Sage Screening Program
The Sage Screening Program provides cancer screenings, and their largest program, Sage, includes breast and cervical cancer exams. Those who are eligible receive free office visits for breast and cervical exams, mammograms, and Pap smears. Sage partners with over 400 clinics throughout Minnesota to provide care, and if your screening shows an abnormal result, Sage also provides diagnostic services and certain treatments for no cost.
Eligibility for Sage
In order to qualify for free screenings, you must be between age 40 and 65 (though certain exceptions apply for younger women determined at a higher risk), have no insurance or are underinsured, or have a policy that does not cover screenings with unmet deductibles or copays, and meet the income guidelines. Women must also be residents of Minnesota, U.S. citizens or legal immigrants.
Women who are found eligible for Sage may seek a certified provider at a participating facility for the following services at no cost. Locate a doctor or facility by viewing the participating provider map. Those who are enrolled in the MA-BC program have access to Sage diagnostic and treatment services.
- Office visit for breast and/or cervical exam
- Pap test
- Office visit for breast or cervical services, such as follow-up exams or results counseling
- Diagnostic mammogram
- Colposcopy, including biopsy
- Fine needle aspiration of breast lump and pathology reading
- Endometrial biopsy
- High risk HPV panels
- Breast ultrasound
- Breast biopsy
First you must go through the Sage Screening Program in order to apply for benefits with Medical Assistance, and be diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, or show results of precancerous stages. To apply for MA-BC, you must provide a copy of your Sage visit from the clinic where you enrolled in Sage and received care, and fill out an MA-BC application. Application forms are available through county Social Services MA-BC contacts, or you may print one at home.
1. Minnesota Department of Health. “Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening – Sage Program.” http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpcd/ccs/screening/sage/index.html
2. Minnesota Department of Health. “Minnesota’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program.” http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpcd/ccs/screening/sage/mabc/index.html