The links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only.
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that allows doctors called radiologists to look for changes in breast tissue. A screening mammogram is used to look for signs of breast cancer in women who don’t have any breast symptoms or problems. X-ray pictures of each breast are taken, typically from 2 different angles.
How to get screening?
The essential information you need so that you do not miss out on this important exam.
Before being able to schedule a mammogram, you might need a referral from a doctor if you are under the age of 40, have already received your annual screening mammogram for the year, have an abnormal breast symptom, or have had breast cancer in the past.
If you are 40 years or older and simply seeking a screening mammogram without any of the exceptions mentioned, it’s unlikely you will be asked for a doctor’s referral.
Screening mammogram: If you don’t have any symptoms or pain, and just need your yearly mammogram.
Diagnostic mammogram: If you have continuous and persistent pain, redness, a lump, discharge, or other concerns that need to be evaluated. Diagnostic mammograms are also done after irregular findings in a routine screening mammogram.
Mammograms are often performed at the hospital, breast center building or an imaging center. You can also look to see if there is a mobile mammography unit (“mammovan”) that might be coming to a location near your home or work.
Call the breast center or the hospital’s main number. Ask to be transferred to the breast center or women’s health center. Once you are transferred, ask who you should speak with about scheduling a free mammogram. If the receptionist doesn’t know, ask to speak to a patient or nurse navigator.
Use the following phrases to help you get connected to the correct department:
“Hello! I am calling to schedule my mammogram.”
“I was referred to you about free or low-cost mammograms. Can you help me find out how I can qualify and how I can get that scheduled?”
For those with insurance, please note that plans might cover each type of mammogram differently. For example, a yearly screening mammogram will be fully covered but you might be responsible for co-pays or deductibles if additional diagnostic mammograms or exams are required.
For those without insurance or difficulty covering the cost of a mammogram, a hospital may have funds or a charity care program where they provide the mammogram for free or at a low cost. Call the hospital near you and ask to speak with a financial counselor who can explain the program and qualification requirements. You can also contact local charities that might pay for the mammogram. Be sure to check first with the organization to see if you qualify and what they will require of you.
We have provided a list of resources below that may assist you if you have difficulty covering the cost of your mammogram.
“We don’t offer free mammograms here. The cost is going to be $400.”
Ask if they have a partner facility that might offer free or discounted mammograms.
If you are not interested in exploring a payment plan with this facility, consider this a great time to view the resources linked below.
“You need a doctor or doctor’s order to schedule this exam.”
If you don’t have a doctor and you are experiencing an abnormal breast symptom, try an internet search phrase like “Find a doctor near me.” Many healthcare systems have online databases that will allow you to easily search for doctors by criteria, such as specialty and zip code. If you don’t have insurance, you may try searching “free and low-cost clinics near me”. A family doctor or gynecologist can examine your breast symptoms and write an order for a diagnostic mammogram. If you are scheduling an appointment with a doctor for the first time, be sure to tell the scheduler that you have an abnormal breast symptom.
If you already have a doctor and the mammography facility requires a doctor’s order, be sure and let you doctor know that you need to schedule a mammogram, as well as any unusual breast symptoms that you are experiencing. Your doctor may want to examine you in the office before writing an order.
“We need your previous mammograms for this appointment.”
In certain situations, you may be required to obtain your past mammogram records, like images, films or cds, from a previous facility. If so, contact the previous facility where you had your mammogram and ask how you may obtain your prior mammography images and reports. They may ask for the mailing address of your new mammography facility.
Florida Breast Cancer Foundation.
The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation provides a comprehensive list of county specific resources for women in Florida. Background Information The Florida Breast […]
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Detection Program (NBCCDP).
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Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation.
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Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition.
Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition provides financial assistance, help with co-pays, and breast cancer screening resources. Background Information CFAC is a coalition of […]
American Breast Cancer Foundation.
The American Breast Cancer Foundation assists females of all ages with or without insurance with covering part of the cost for mammogram […]
The Healthwell foundation addresses needs for patients who cannot afford insurance premiums and co-pays. Background Information The HealthWell Foundation is a leading […]
Florida Cancer Connect.
Florida Cancer Connect is a centralized resource hub for cancer patients, caregivers, and loved ones. Use this tool to access a centralized […]