It still surprises me when a woman spends some time with us at Mariposa and then says, “I never knew these products were available.” She either didn’t know that post-mastectomy bras and prostheses exist, or that her insurance provides coverage for them.
The Legislation Behind Women’s Health Choices
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (see this link) provides each woman with the ability to choose what she wants after a mastectomy. It not only allows for reconstruction but also for prostheses as an option to help a woman obtain a balanced and symmetrical appearance after breast surgery. In general terms, this means insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, must include benefits that allow for these choices.
At Mariposa, we carry both non-silicone and silicone prostheses (see https://mariposaoregon.com/mastectomy-products/ for some examples). Within these broad categories are a multitude of options. There are prostheses for women who are very active and sweat a lot. There are prostheses for women who have had partial mastectomies and don’t need a full prosthesis. There are prostheses that weigh less than a pound and others that are heavy. There are so many options available to help you achieve the look and feel that you need and want. And the options for pocketed bras to fit the prostheses inside of are just as varied.
Getting Insurance to Pay
In order to help ladies with this, a post-mastectomy boutique must be accredited as a Durable Medical Equipment facility. This allows us to contract with insurance carriers so that we can process your claim. It also means we must staff our business with Certified Mastectomy Fitters. We have two certified women at Mariposa (https://mariposaoregon.com/about-mariposa-boutique/). Abby and I love helping ladies feel beautiful again. We are well versed in what we need to do to submit your insurance claim and can help figure out what your particular plan coverage is.
If you are reading this and had no idea you have choices and options, we hope you will allow us the opportunity to introduce you to them and help you navigate the insurance process to obtain them. It would be our honor!