Ladies First Expands Eligibility for Vermont Women

For Immediate Release: January 18, 2012

Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health

BURLINGTON - Ladies First, a Vermont Department of Health program that provides access to breast, cervical and heart health screening for low income women, is expanding its eligibility beginning this year.

Any Vermont woman age 21 or older earning 250 percent of the poverty level or less can now receive free screening services through Ladies First. For example, a woman in a two-person household earning less than $36,775 a year can qualify.

The program has screened nearly 11,000 women for breast and cervical cancer since 1995, and 4,500 for heart health since 2002.

"Early detection can, and does, save lives," said Nicole Lukas, women's health director for the Vermont Department of Health. “We want to be sure that all women receive timely treatment.”

Uninsured women with a breast or cervical cancer or pre-cancerous condition can be referred by Ladies First to a special Medicaid program, Vermont’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program, to receive full health insurance that covers the cost of their treatment.

To qualify a woman needs to be uninsured, a U.S. citizen (or qualified alien), and under age 65. Benefits can be retroactive up to 90 days when the woman does not have any prior health insurance or coverage through VHAP (Vermont Health Access Program).

To apply or for more information call 1-800-508-2222 or go to For Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals, please use Vermont Relay Service 711 and give our number: 1-800-508-2222.

Foreign language interpreters, transportation, child care and elder care are also available.

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