Skip to main content
Delaware House Democrats

Longhurst Bills Would Increase Access to Ovarian Cancer Screening and Monitoring Tests

February 29, 2024

DOVER- House Speaker Valerie Longhurst unveiled two new bills on Thursday aimed at addressing the critical need for proactive measures in the detection and management of ovarian cancer.

Taken together, House Bills 15 and 16 would require health insurers to cover preventative measures, such as screenings and monitoring tests, for those at risk of ovarian cancer and those who have received treatment for ovarian cancer.

“We often hear that early detection can save lives, but we need to go a step beyond acknowledging this fact and take concrete steps to ensure that people have access to the preventative services needed to detect and treat cancer in its earliest stages,” said Speaker Longhurst.

“We are naming HB 15 in honor of Faith Deanna Johnson, who sadly lost her battle with ovarian cancer at the age of 26. In her memory, and for countless others facing similar challenges, her parents have brought attention to the urgent need for affordable preventive measures and post-treatment care. I’m honored that I was able to work with the Johnsons to bring forward these life-saving measures.”

The Faith Deanna Johnson Act would require all individual, blanket, and group health insurance policies to cover annual ovarian cancer screening tests for women at risk. The bill would also broaden the scope of monitoring tests available to those who have undergone ovarian cancer treatment.

A companion measure, HB 16, would put the same coverage requirements in place for Medicaid and State employee health plans.

Both bills define individuals at risk for ovarian cancer as those with a family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. Additionally, individuals with specific genetic mutations like BRCA1 or BRCA2, as well as those with a personal history of ovarian cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or unexplained infertility, also fall under the at-risk category in both measures.

“With the highest mortality rate among gynecological cancers, ovarian cancer will threaten the lives of tens of thousands of women across America this year. Screening for this disease has never been more important,” said Sen. Nicole Poore, Senate prime sponsor for HB 15 and 16.

“That’s why I’ve teamed up with Speaker Longhurst to ensure that women can afford to access routine screenings for ovarian cancer.”

According to the American Cancer Society, 94% of patients diagnosed with ovarian cancers live longer than 5 years after their initial diagnosis when the cancer is detected early. However, less than 20% of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at an early stage.

Additionally, research has shown that African-American women with ovarian cancer do not survive as long as non Hispanic White women with ovarian cancer as a result of several factors including access to effective healthcare and gaps in health insurance coverage.

These two measures would ensure that those most at risk of ovarian cancer have better access to detection and intervention services early on, thereby significantly improving the chances of successful treatment and outcomes.

“When we lost our daughter Faith Deanna, we lost our world. She was our only child, and dreamed of advancing to become a socially-responsible journalist/producer. Faith’s life ended much sooner than any of us expected to a rare form of ovarian cancer,” said Karen Johnson and Dwain Johnson, parents of Faith Deanna Johnson.

“Ovarian cancer in general is recognized as a ‘middle aged women’s’ disease, but Faith was only 26 years old. It pains us every day to know that a simple screening test coupled with non-discriminate care, could‘ve given her a chance to live a full life. We lost Faith Deanna, but we have not lost faith that our leaders will do something to raise awareness and require annual screening and testing for this gynecological cancer, so young women like Faith can live out their dreams.”

HB 15 and HB 16 have been assigned to the House Health and Human Development Committee.

Recent Updates


Filter by Category

Bill to Expand Mobile Sports Betting Options Introduced

House Bill 365, sponsored by Reps. Cooke and Bush, would bring Delaware betting options other states have DOVER – Today, Lawmakers filed new legislation that would provide Delawareans with more options for competitive mobile sports wagering. House Bill 365, sponsored […]

Rep. Neal Gender-Affirming Care Bill Released from Committee

DOVER – The House Health and Human Development Committee released legislation Wednesday that would expand protections for individuals seeking, receiving, and providing gender-affirming health care. Sponsored by Rep. DeShanna Neal, House Bill 346 would expand on HB 455 by providing […]

National Apprenticeship Week

By Rep. Ed Osienski and Sen. Jack Walsh As legislative labor leaders and proud union members, we know there are paths to a prosperous career that don’t always involve a traditional college degree. We have seen more and more in […]

Labor Day

By Rep. Ed Osienski, Rep. Kim Williams, Sen. Jack Walsh & Sen. Nicole Poore Labor Day for many represents the end of summer, a time to reflect on summer, prepare to return to school, and have one final outdoor gathering […]

Bill to Expand Mobile Sports Betting Options Introduced

House Bill 365, sponsored by Reps. Cooke and Bush, would bring Delaware betting options other states have DOVER – Today, Lawmakers filed new legislation that would provide Delawareans with more options for competitive mobile sports wagering. House Bill 365, sponsored […]

Rep. Neal Gender-Affirming Care Bill Released from Committee

DOVER – The House Health and Human Development Committee released legislation Wednesday that would expand protections for individuals seeking, receiving, and providing gender-affirming health care. Sponsored by Rep. DeShanna Neal, House Bill 346 would expand on HB 455 by providing […]