Sens. Kelly and Formica Advocate for Legislation to Fight Heart Disease

February 4, 2022

On National “Wear Red Day” Sen. Kelly, Sen. Formica Renew Calls to Increase Access to Early Screening for Connecticut Residents


HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) announced today that they will again submit legislation this year to enhance insurance coverage for an early detection screening that can identify risks for heart disease before a person shows any symptoms.


Today is National Wear Red Day, celebrated every year at the start of American Heart Month by the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Initiative.


The proposed bill would require health insurance coverage for medically necessary coronary calcium scan tests, an early detection heart scan.


“Heart disease is one of the deadliest health conditions,” said Sen. Kelly. “It is the number one killer in women in the United States, yet only 1 in 5 women believe that heart disease is their greatest health threat.  Many only learn that they have heart disease when they have a heart attack. But there are early detection methods that can be used to find out if you have early heart disease before it gets worse and before you show any symptoms. This plan proposes increasing access to early detection by expanding insurance coverage for coronary calcium tests, an early detection heart scan currently not covered by most insurance plans.”


“Heart disease has touched my family personally, bringing us pain and loss. But there is hope and there are early detection methods that can make a difference and save lives,” said Sen. Formica. “This proposal helps remove the financial barrier to accessing an early detection tool. This is a policy that can change a life and save a life, and help other families avoid the heartache of losing a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, or a friend. This is a true investment in health care and will help to move away from strictly sick care.”


A coronary calcium scan or a coronary artery calcium test, is a specialized X-ray test that provides pictures of your heart that can help your doctor detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in the arteries. A coronary calcium scan is a test for people who have no symptoms of heart disease but may be at risk for getting it. The test uses computed tomography (CT) to check for calcium buildup in plaque on the walls of the coronary arteries. The measurement can help a doctor identify who is at risk for heart disease before development of signs or symptoms.


At this time CT Calcium Score screenings are not routinely covered by most health insurance plans and may be available only on a self pay basis. The cost can range from about $100 to $400. If a patient is told they must pay out of pocket for this test there is a greater chance they will forgo this procedure which has the potential to save lives through early detection.


By helping people find out if they are at risk of heart disease before experiencing symptoms or a life-threatening heart attack, this test would help give people time, information and motivation to make lifestyle changes such as having a heart-healthy eating plan, getting more exercise, quitting smoking or taking medication to address cholesterol or blood pressure issues.


  • About 1 in 16 women age 20 and older (6.2%) have coronary heart disease. (CDC)


  • Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute – more than all cancers combined. (American Heart Association)


  • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen. (American Heart Association)


  • There is hope. An estimated 80% of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Early detection is a major step in prevention and making testing more accessible is one way to help more women get the information they need to stay healthy and live longer.