DHS Commissioner Explains MAP Coverage for Breast, Cervical Cancer Treatment

Commissioner Vivian I. Ebbesen-Fludd has issued a statement to further clarify for Medical Assistance Program (MAP) recipients the conditions for coverage offered to uninsured women for breast and cervical cancer treatment. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted the Virgin Islands this authority based upon an amendment to the VI Medicaid State Plan, according to a press release issued on Wednesday by the V.I. Department of Human Services (VIDHS).
Ebbesen-Fludd said, “The Virgin Islands has demonstrated to our federal partners that the prevalence of breast and cervical cancer among the territory’s uninsured women population is significant enough to be included for coverage under the VI Medical Assistance Program (MAP). We continue to proactively develop the local Medical Assistance Program with a keen focus on breast and cervical cancer diagnosis. We also have advanced a broad-based approach to ensure that qualifying women can access treatment and not be discouraged by the cost of diagnosis and care.”
The VI Medicaid State Plan acts as a contract between the DHS and CMS regarding the management and operations of MAP in the territory. Additionally, while applicants for MAP are not required to prove income or assets, they must verify United States citizenship as well as Virgin Islands residency. They must also verify they are age 65 or younger, their uninsured status, and they have a confirmed diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer at a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved site (the nearest of which is in Puerto Rico).
The commissioner further cautioned that, “Coverage by the V.I. Medical Assistance Program (MAP), however, applies only to women who tested positive via a PAP or mammogram test for breast or cervical cancer, respectively, at V.I. Department of Health Clinics, the Frederiksted Health Center Inc. (FHC, Inc.) on St. Croix, or the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation (STEEMC) on St. Thomas. After either of these clinics completes the initial testing, the diagnosis must be confirmed by biopsy at the CDC site in Puerto Rico. Air travel will be provided through the VI Medical Assistance Program.”
In accordance with the V.I. Medicaid State Plan, if the MAP recipient visits a private physician for breast or cervical testing and receives a diagnosis (biopsy) from a private physician, they become ineligible for the V.I. MAP Breast and Cervical Cancer Insurance Program.

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