Governor signs into law a ‘landmark’ bill eliminating out-of-pocket costs for prostate, other screenings Skip to content

Governor signs into law a ‘landmark’ bill eliminating out-of-pocket costs for prostate, other screenings

Similar bills have been passed in other states, making such screenings more accessible to more people.

2 min read
Photo by Nguyễn Hiệp / Unsplash

Governor Andy Beshear has signed into law legislation that will eliminate out-of-pocket costs for high-risk men being screened for prostate cancer and other cancer screenings.

Out-of-pocket costs pose barriers to prostate cancer detection and treatment, disproportionately impacting lower-income individuals, people of color, and those with limited healthcare access. These financial burdens exacerbate health disparities and increase risks for vulnerable populations.

More than 299,000 new prostate cancer diagnoses are expected in 2024. Black men are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed and die from this disease. Early detection continues to be the most effective means of saving lives from prostate cancer.

Understanding that men’s lives are at stake, ZERO Prostate Cancer, the leading national prostate cancer nonprofit, spearheaded the advocacy efforts for HB 52.

In partnership with FORCE, the American Cancer Society, the American Urological Association, and Merck, ZERO built a coalition to prioritize the importance of removing barriers to cancer screening.

“More than four hundred men in Kentucky are expected to die from prostate cancer this year, and that’s simply unacceptable,” said Courtney Bugler, President and CEO of ZERO Prostate Cancer. “Kentucky’s bold move to remove financial barriers to screenings means that more men at the highest risk will be tested and valuable lives will be saved.”

This groundbreaking legislation was championed by Representative Deanna Frazier Gordon (R), who says Kentucky bears one of the highest cancer burdens in the U.S. According to Gordon, Kentucky averages 27,000 new cancer cases annually and 10,000 cancer deaths annually. More than 3,500 new cases of prostate cancer are expected to be diagnosed in Kentucky in 2024.

Upon receiving Governor Beshear’s signature, the bill joins similar state legislative initiatives in Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island, reinforcing the importance of accessible preventive care in combating prostate cancer.

At the federal level, ZERO Prostate Cancer is leading the advocacy effort behind the PSA Screening for High-risk Insured Men Act, also known as PSA for HIM. Introduced by Representatives Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY), this legislation would require health insurance providers to offer PSA screenings without any cost-sharing requirements (copays, deductibles, or coinsurance) for African-American men or men with a family history of prostate cancer between the ages of 55 and 69. There is also a Senate version of the bill, S.2821 by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Boozman (R-AR).


Cross-posted from the NKY Tribune.

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