HEALTHY LIVING
08/23/2011 01:40 pm ET | Updated Oct 24, 2011

Raymond Johnson To Receive Breast Cancer Treatment Coverage, After All

After South Carolina man Raymond Johnson was denied government coverage for breast cancer treatments because he is not a woman, the 26-year-old finally received some good news late last week: He will, in fact, get government coverage, MSNBC reported.

"… We believe it is in the best interest of Mr. Johnson to deem him eligible for the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Program," said Tony Keck, director of the S.C. health department, MSNBC reported.

That means the S.C. health department will submit Johnson's claim to the federal government to be reimbursed, though it's not clear whether the federal government will accept or deny the claim, according to MSNBC.

If it does deny it, the state health department will appeal -- and if the agency rejects that appeal, then Johnson's whole claim must be paid by the South Carolina government, The Post and Courier reported.

"I was relieved," Johnson told The Post and Courier. "But we've got more work to do. We've gotta fix this for other men."

Just a couple weeks ago, Johnson made news because he was not eligible for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, which uses Medicaid funds to cover breast and ovarian cancer treatment costs for people who can't afford it, The Post and Courier reported.

But there was a stipulation with those funds: He had to be a woman to receive them.

Johnson's chemotherapy cost around $10,000 per treatment, and because Johnson is uninsured -- he doesn't qualify for Medicaid, but doesn't make enough to purchase his own insurance -- a patient advocate had informed him of this federal program that could help.

Breast cancer in men is much rarer than women -- it occurs 100 times less than in women -- but there are still about 2,140 new cases a year, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year, 450 men die from breast cancer.

For the original video on Johnson's fight to receive government coverage for his breast cancer treatments, WATCH:

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