What is Women's Way?

Women’s Way provides a way to pay for most breast and cervical cancer screenings for eligible North Dakota women.

• In 1990, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act, which launched funding for the national breast and cervical cancer screening program.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) distributes the money and oversees the national program.

• Today, in the United States, 68 funded states, tribes, and territories provide services.

• North Dakota received funding in 1993 for planning and system development.

• The North Dakota program was named Women’s Way and began offering screening services in 1997.

Women’s Way is administered through the North Dakota Department of Health and local public health offices.

• More than 850 doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are enrolled as participating providers, making it possible for most clients to receive services through their regular doctor at 287 facilities across North Dakota.

• As many as 24,000 women in North Dakota could be eligible for Women’s Way and receive breast and cervical screenings.

• CDC estimates that funds awarded to the state can provide screenings for 12-15 percent of potentially eligible women. North Dakota stretches its funds to screen approximately 15 percent of potentially eligible women.

• Limited diagnostic procedures are also available to women enrolled in Women’s Way.

• In 2001, the North Dakota state legislature passed and Governor Hoeven signed legislation allowing uninsured Women’s Way clients who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer to access treatment coverage through Medicaid - Women’s Way Treatment program.

Women's Way Services

What services are available through Women’s Way?

Eligible women ages 40 through 64 can receive:

• Clinical breast exams
• Mammograms
• Pap tests
• Pelvic exams

Who qualifies for Women’s Way?


Women’s Way primarily serves women between the ages of 40 and 64.

Women’s Way serves women who do not have health insurance; who are unable to pay insurance deductibles and/or co-payments; or who do not have breast and cervical cancer screening coverage through their insurance plan.

Women with Medicare or Medicaid are encouraged to access breast and cervical cancer screenings through their existing coverage.

To enroll in Women’s Way, a woman’s household income must be less than the amounts listed in the following chart:

2009 Income Guidelines




1 $ 21,660     $ 1,805    
2 29,140 2,428
3 36,620 3,052
4 44,100 3,675
5 51,580 4,298
6 59,060 4,922
7 66,540 5,545
8 74,020 6,168
9 81,500 6,792
10 88,980 7,415

Each additional 7,480 per year Or 623 per month

How many women have been screened through Women’s Way ?
Women’s Way began offering screening services in 1997. As of June, 2009, Women’s Way has screened more than 10,000 women. Through those screenings, more than 175 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 250 women were diagnosed with cervical dysplasias and cervical cancer.

Where do women get screened?
In North Dakota, most general practice health-care providers offer Women’s Way screening services, including 287 health care facilities and more than 850 doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Women’s Way clients usually are able to receive screening services through their regular doctor.

Treatment For Women’s Way Clients Now Available Through “Medicaid  - Women’s Way
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000 allows states to create a new category of Medicaid eligibility for uninsured women younger than 65. In North Dakota, this new Medicaid category, called Medicaid - Women’s Way, became effective July 1, 2001.  The purpose of this special program is to provide medical assistance for uninsured Women’s Way clients who have been found to have breast cancer, cervical cancer or cervical abnormalities requiring treatment.

If a Women’s Way client is diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer or a cervical abnormality that needs treatment, she should call 1.800.44 WOMEN for more information.