New law on coverage for prostate cancer screenings takes effect Jan. 1

Posted: Updated:
SYOSSET -

A law that begins in the new year could be a lifesaver for men in New York state.

The law that takes effect Jan. 1 requires all health insurance plans in the state to provide prostate cancer screenings to men free of cost.

According to the state Department of Health, 14,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and 1,700 die from the disease annually.

Dr. Deepak Kappor, CEO of urology practice Integrated Medical Professionals, lobbied for the bill to be signed into law. He says the effort was to ensure that those at the highest risk are able to detect the cancer early, including men with family history, veterans who were exposed to toxins and African-Americans.

"These are individuals who their access to screening is being curtailed and those are the most vulnerable populations that really needed the help," Kappor says.

Prostate cancer survivors like John Sattler, of Syosset, say that early detection is key. He went to the doctor for a regular physical and prostate screening 13 years ago, and had no symptoms when it turned up an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Sattler believes the free screenings will save lives.

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