Vitale authors bill to expand health screening coverage to adoptees
For New Jersey adoptees, questions about family medical history can be difficult to answer, but state Sen. Joseph Vitale has authored a bill to expand early screening insurance coverage to adoptees.
Vitale (D-Woodbridge) said the bill is before the mandate study committee, where the cost of expanding coverage would be analyzed.
"It would expand the ability for adoptees to be screened and have insurance cover it, because as it is now … unless you have family history or known family history, or are at risk, insurance won't pay for those claims until you reach a certain age," Vitale said.
Vitale said he's received support from his colleagues in the Senate for the bill, which he sees as a bridge to other legislation regarding opening adoption records. But critics have told Vitale the bill could expose people to unnecessary radiation during mammograms and other early detection procedures.
Still, "it's a ticking time bomb for some women, obviously, as breast cancer is so prevalent," Vitale said. "If you don't know your family history, then you're rolling the dice on hoping against hope that there isn't a family history."
Vitale said once the actuarial analysis is completed in the mandate study committee, he'll make a decision about when to move forward with the bill and look for a sponsor in the Assembly. He anticipated the process would take up to two months.