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Article / Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act

Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act.

This notice is being provided to you by the Trustees of the Carpenters’ Health and Welfare Plan in accordance with federal law.

The Women’s Health and Cancer rights Act (WHCRA) is a federal law that requires most insurers, HMOs, or group-sponsored health plans that provide benefits for mastectomies to also cover reconstructive surgery and prostheses after a mastectomy. The Carpenters’ Health and Welfare Plan already provides the benefits required by law.

In particular, the law requires that if your plan covers mastectomies and if you choose breast reconstruction after the mastectomy, benefits also must be provided for:
  • Reconstruction of the breast on which a mastectomy has been performed
  • Surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance
  • Prostheses
  • Treatment of physical complications for all stages of mastectomy, including lymphedemas
This coverage will be provided in consultation with you and your doctor. The coverage is subject to the same annual deductible and coinsurance provisions as those established for other plan benefits. As a part of the Plan’s Schedule of Benefits, members undergoing such treatment are still responsible for any copayments, deductibles, or co-insurance under the Plan’s Schedule of Benefits.

Learn more about the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act on the American Cancer Society's website.

Please share this information with your family members covered under your plan and keep this notice with your official Summary Plan Description booklet.

If you have any questions regarding these federal requirements or your benefits, please contact Carpenters' Member Services:
By Phone:314.644-4802

Over 1,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

So, both men and women should:
  • Perform monthly breast self-exams
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit alcohol
  • Watch your weight
  • Get regular check-ups
  • Women should get a mammogram per your doctor’s recommendations
See your doctor if you notice:
  • A lump or thickening on or near your breast
  • A change in the size or shape of your breast
  • A change in the color or texture of breast tissue
  • Discharge from your nipple