Objective: Although the Affordable Care Act eliminated cost sharing for screening mammography, a concern is that grandfathered plans, diagnostic mammograms, and follow-up testing may still lead to out-of-pocket (OOP) spending. Our study examines how OOP spending among women at their baseline screening mammogram may impact the decision to receive subsequent screening. Methods: The study included commercially insured women aged 40 to 41 years with a screening mammogram between 2011 and 2014. We estimated multivariate linear probability models of the effect of OOP spending at the baseline mammogram on subsequent screening 12 to 36 months later. Results: Having any OOP payments for the baseline screening mammogram significantly reduced the probability of screening in the subsequent 12 to 24 months by 3.0 percentage points (pp) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-4.8 pp decrease). For every $100 increase in the OOP expenses for the baseline mammogram, the likelihood of subsequent screening within 12 to 24 months decreased by 1.9 pp (95% CI: 0.8-3.1 pp decrease). Similarly, any OOP spending for follow-up tests resulting from the baseline screening led to a 2.7 pp lower probability of screening 12 to 24 months later (95% CI: 0.9-4.1 pp decrease). Higher OOP expenses were associated with significantly lower screening 24 to 36 months later (coefficient = −0.014, 95% CI: −0.025 to −0.003). Discussion: Although cost sharing has been eliminated for screening mammograms, OOP costs may still arise, particularly for diagnostic and follow-up testing services, both of which may reduce rates of subsequent screening. For preventive services, reducing or eliminating cost sharing through policy and legislation may be important to ensuring continued adherence to screening guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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