No Butts About it: Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Colorectal Cancer ScreeningUnder the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) requires most insurance companies to provide free preventive services, including colorectal cancer screening, such as a colonoscopy.  This means that people don’t pay a co-pay, don’t pay a co-insurance amount, and it doesn’t get applied to their deductible.

The ACA also required these services to be covered free of charge under Medicare.  However, an unexpected loophole was created.

Routine colonoscopies are a covered preventative service.  However, if a polyp (a pre-cancerous lump) is found in the colon and removed during the colonoscopy, the colonoscopy stops being “preventive” and becomes “diagnostic” . . . and stops being free to the patient.

While this issue was fixed under the ACA for private insurance companies it hasn’t been fixed under Medicare.

But the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Screening Act” (S.2348), a federal bill that is being reintroduced by Senator Sherrod Brown, seeks to fix this problem.

This House legislation will help to make colorectal cancer even more preventable, by making colonoscopy procedures cost-free for everyone.

Even though colonoscopies save many lives and are a major factor in preventing colon cancer, many people avoid the screening because of the potential cost this procedure can incur if polyps are removed. This bill will remove this obstacle and help to save lives.

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