Health

Healthy Woman Program

What is the Healthy Woman Program?

The HealthyWoman Program (HWP) is a free breast and cervical cancer early detection program of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. It is funded by the Department of Health and through a grant the Department receives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Services Can I Receive Through the HWP?

Free services for those meeting the eligibility standards include:

  • Clinical breast examination
  • Mammogram
  • Pelvic examination and Pap smear
  • Education on breast self-exam
  • Follow-up diagnostic care for an abnormal result

How do I know if I'm eligible?


Age:

Breast screening and diagnostics - Women 40 through 64
Cervical screening and diagnostics - Women 21 through 64

NOTE: Younger women may be eligible if they have symptoms. You may be eligible if you are 65 or older and do not have Medicare Part B.

NOTE: Women under 40 who have been assessed by their health care provider to be at high risk for breast cancer may be eligible for HealthyWoman services. High risk includes genetic mutations, family history and some other factors. Talk to your health care provider for more information.

NOTE: Transgender individuals may also be eligible.

Residency:

A woman must live in Pennsylvania.

Income:

A woman is eligible for the HealthyWoman if her family’s gross household income is at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty annual guideline.

2018 Federal Poverty Annual Income Guidelines at
250% of Poverty

Family Size

Gross Monthly Income

Annual Income

1

$2,530

$30,350

2

$3,430

$41,150

3

$4,330

$51,950

4

$5,230

$62,750

5

$6,130

$73,550

6

$7,030

$84,350

7

$7,930

$95,150

8

$8,830

$105,950

Each Additional Person

$900

$10,800

Insurance status:

A woman must be uninsured or underinsured.

An underinsured woman is one who has health insurance, but it does not cover the breast or cervical diagnostic services offered by HWP or who is financially unable to pay any required deductible or co-payment.

A woman enrolled in Medicare Part B or Medicaid is not eligible.
A woman with Medicaid Family Planning Program benefits only is considered to be underinsured and is eligible for HealthyWoman.

How do I apply for the HealthyWoman Program?

Bethlehem Health Bureau
10 E. Church Street
Bethlehem PA 18018

610-865-7083
Ask for the Healthy Woman Program

What happens if cancer is detected?

If breast or cervical cancer is detected through the HWP, women are able to receive free treatment through the Department of Public Welfare’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program. *

*There are eligibility guidelines that apply to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program.
Stay A Healthy Woman

What should I do to stay healthy?


The American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines recommend:
Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year. Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

  • Women at increased risk for breast cancer should talk with their physician about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, having additional tests, or having more frequent exams.

Clinical breast exam and breast self-exam
Research has not shown a clear benefit of regular physical breast exams done by either a health professional (clinical breast exams) or by yourself (breast self-exams). There is very little evidence that these tests help find breast cancer early when women also get screening mammograms. Most often when breast cancer is detected because of symptoms (such as a lump), a woman discovers the symptom during usual activities such as bathing or dressing. Women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health care provider right away.


American Cancer Society Guidelines for Prevention and Early Detection of Cervical Cancer

  • All women should begin cervical cancer testing (screening) at age 21. Women aged 21 to 29, should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV testing should not be used for screening in this age group (it may be used as a part of follow-up for an abnormal Pap test).
  • Beginning at age 30, the preferred way to screen is with a Pap test combined with an HPV test every 5 years. This is called co-testing and should continue until age 65.
  • Another reasonable option for women 30 to 65 is to get tested every 3 years with just the Pap test.
  • Women who have had a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus and cervix) should stop screening (such as Pap tests and HPV tests), unless the hysterectomy was done as a treatment for cervical pre-cancer (or cancer). Women who have had a hysterectomy without removal of the cervix (called a supra-cervical hysterectomy) should continue cervical cancer screening according to the guidelines above.
  • Women who have been vaccinated against HPV should still follow these guidelines. For more info on the ACS guidelines, visit www.cancer.org