Mammogram Controversy

Amarillo, Texas -  Some area health insurance policies are changing following a controversial study.  at least one company will no longer pay for annual mammograms for women under 50. Instead, they will only pay for the preventative procedure every other year. Several other companies are also considering that change.

But many local health professionals recommend still getting the checks every year. At the Beast Cancer Center in Amarillo, they figured doing the mammograms annually instead of bi-annually would save about 400 lives nationwide each year.

"That is a lot, and if you have a loved one who's ever had breast cancer than one person is important, so I think it is important that women continue to have the mammograms on a yearly basis," Nurse Practitioner Elaine White said.

Health professionals say you should check with your insurance provider to see if there have been any changes. And if they won't pay for an annual check-up, ask your doctors about non-profit programs that help cover the cost.