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Cancer care and prevention

New York Teacher
Female medical professional looks at x-rays

The UFT has a record of offering programs with compassionate support and excellent clinical care for members facing a cancer diagnosis. A new tool, the 3D mammogram, has been added to the mix.

3D Mammograms

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for American women. A simple screening can help detect breast cancer early, with potentially life-saving results.

A 3D mammogram is among the most advanced forms of screening technology available. It can lead to early detection and treatment, which is key to a positive outcome.

As a UFT member with EmblemHealth insurance, you have access to 3D mammograms through RadNet, as well as access to other high-quality women’s health care from AdvantageCare Physicians.

For UFT members 50 and older who need a baseline mammogram or already have received one, these 3D mammograms are covered once every 12 months. If you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, your provider may recommend that 3D mammograms begin prior to age 50.

UFT members who have EmblemHealth do not have any out-of-pocket costs for breast cancer screening when services are delivered by a provider in EmblemHealth’s network.

These 3D mammograms provide a significantly improved resolution that helps the radiologist detect breast cancer. In addition, the better image and the use of artificial intelligence may enable the identification of breast cancers one to two years earlier than traditional imaging.

These mammograms take only four seconds to scan each breast and use small, safe doses of radiation for the screenings.

For more information or to schedule a 3D mammogram, call 800-621-4844.

MSK Direct

When you are dealing with cancer, making an informed decision about your treatment options is crucial. To guide you through this stressful period, the UFT Welfare Fund has forged a partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the top-ranked cancer hospital in the Northeast, to provide members with emotional and clinical support through a program called MSK Direct.

By calling MSK Direct, UFT members and their loved ones can speak one-on-one with a dedicated MSK Direct care adviser, who will help connect them to the most appropriate Memorial Sloan Kettering doctor. These doctors have one focus: providing compassionate cancer care to help each patient receive the best possible outcome.

The MSK Direct team includes experienced nurses, social workers and care advisers to guide you. They facilitate prompt access to a doctor by scheduling an appointment at your convenience, in as quickly as two business days. They help you gather the necessary medical records and meet you at your first appointment.

All UFT members, retirees and their family members (including spouses, domestic partners, children, parents and parents-in-law) have immediate access to MSK Direct at no cost beyond standard copays and deductibles, subject to health insurance coverage for care at Memorial Sloan Kettering, an in-network provider for all city health plans except Metroplus Gold, and for UFT retirees with original Medicare, the GHI/BlueCross BlueShield SeniorCare Medicare supplement, HIP-VIP HMO and the New York City Medicare Advantage Plus Plan that begins on Jan. 1, 2022. Out-of-pocket costs for treatment received at Memorial Sloan Kettering vary by plan.

To access this program, call the UFT Welfare Fund’s toll-free MSK Direct line at 844-350-5034, Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. No enrollment is necessary.

For more information, see the MSK Direct FAQs.

Health and Cancer Helpline

Receiving a life-threatening medical diagnosis can be an emotional roller coaster. You may be shocked and overwhelmed to hear this life-changing news and wonder how it will affect you and your family members.

The UFT Welfare Fund’s Health and Cancer Helpline provides free, confidential health services by phone for UFT members eligible for Welfare Fund benefits and their dependents who are diagnosed with a medical illness such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease. The helpline is staffed by full-time social workers and peer counselors.

To speak with a helpline social worker, call the Health and Cancer Helpline at 212-539-0515 during office hours.

Services include:

Confidential, immediate support: A helpline counselor can answer questions, address concerns and offer guidance regarding health-related matters.

Guidance for a leave of absence: Helpline staff can outline for UFT members their right to take a leave and their leave options and can help them determine the type of leave appropriate for a medical or family-related crisis.

Health benefits information: Helpline staff can help members navigate the complexities of the health care system, providing accurate information regarding health plans and how to access the benefits and services to which they are entitled.