Breast Cancer Coverage Denied to Man For Being Male

Posted on August 10, 2011 by

Men account for about 1% of breast cancer diagnoses each year. That makes it insignificant to most men. Insignificant unless you’re among the 1%. A South Carolina man with no insurance applied for special supplementary insurance program offered to breast cancer patients who are uninsured but ineligible for traditional Medicaid coverage. He was denied because of his gender:

Though Johnson wouldn’t normally qualify for Medicaid in the state of South Carolina because he is a single, non-disabled man with no children, he was advised to apply for a special supplementary program created specifically for those diagnosed with breast cancer whose income is 200 percent of the poverty line ($21,780 per year) — even those with no dependent children. What Johnson didn’t know is that the program, created by the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, is women’s only.

While we can quibble about entitlements, the issue here is whether it should be legally acceptable to discriminate against men who have breast cancer simply because it’s rare for them to get it.