BATON ROUGE – In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana joins other healthcare organizations in reminding Louisianians how important it is to have an annual wellness visit with your healthcare provider to be aware of your risks and ask about when you should be screened.
“Catching breast cancer early makes it more likely you can be successfully treated,” said Blue Cross Medical Director Dr. Emily Vincent. “This year, since a lot of people put off checkups, mammograms or other health screenings during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, it’s very important to reconnect with your healthcare provider. Schedule an annual wellness visit if you haven’t had one this year so you can review your health and family history and get a personalized recommendation on when you should be screened.”
While breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, men can also develop breast cancer. Dr. Vincent advises starting with breast self-awareness. “You know your body, and if you see or feel anything unusual, tell your healthcare provider about it,” she said.
Depending on your age and health history, your healthcare provider may recommend you begin regular breast cancer screening through mammograms, which are very effective at catching the disease in its earliest stages. Most women begin having mammograms around age 40, and men may need this screening, too. Talk with your primary care provider or OB-GYN about what is the best screening process for you.
Most health plans and Medicare plans cover breast cancer screening at low or $0 out-of-pocket costs.
Many health plans also have shopping tools that let you see what mammograms cost at different providers near you. Blue Cross members can use Smart Shopper, at bcbsla.com/SmartShopper, to see what they can expect to pay for mammograms or other screenings at different facilities in their networks.
Dr. Vincent explains the importance of breast cancer screening in this video (1:15).
Blue Cross members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer (or any form of cancer) can get support and health coaching (video - 0:57) from the insurer’s Care Management team. Members do not need to pay anything to work with a Blue Cross health coach. Visit www.bcbsla.com/Stronger for more information on how to connect with a health coach or sign up for programs and services.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos with the clinical team and others discussing various health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can also connect with Blue Cross on social media for regular updates.
For information about why it’s important to have an annual checkup and schedule any needed health screenings, visit www.bcbsla.com/keepupwithcare.
Blue Cross will join other Louisiana businesses in “Wear Pink Wednesday” for breast cancer awareness on Oct. 21. Employees will post pictures of themselves wearing pink clothing and accessories to social media with the hashtag #WearPinkWednesday to share stories of how they have personally been affected by breast cancer and show their support.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 and 2020 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.