Effective September 1, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission adopts a new policy making life-saving lung cancer screenings available at no cost to all Texas Medicaid recipients who are at high risk for lung cancer. The American Lung Association in Texas applauds this move and encourages everyone who is eligible to get screened.
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Texas and across America. Screening is used to detect lung cancer early when it is more likely to be curable. In fact, if lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving five years or more improves to 59 percent,” said Charlie Gagen, Advocacy Director for the Lung Association. “Now that lung cancer screening is covered by Texas Medicaid, many more residents will have access to this life-saving screening.”
Through Texas Medicaid, people who meet the eligibility requirements can receive a lung cancer screening at no cost. You are eligible for initial lung cancer screening if you are between the ages of 50-80, have a 20 pack-year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 20 years, 2 packs a day for 10 years, etc.), and are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.
“While we continue to urge the public to take precautions against COVID-19, given the critical importance of screening for lung cancer, you should not delay this test,” said Gagen. “We encourage Texas residents who meet the eligibility requirements to speak with their doctor. Once your doctor orders the screening, the CT scan itself is painless and takes less than a minute.”
“Nearly 4.2 million Texans are currently covered by Medicaid, though this number would increase by nearly 1.5 million if Texas expanded the Medicaid eligible population, as 38 other states have done,” said Gagen.
Learn more about lung cancer screening and take a free online quiz to determine your lung cancer risk at SavedBytheScan.org. More information on Texas Medicaid program can be found here.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.