The Affordable Care Act and Colon Cancer Prevention

Routine colonoscopy screening by age 50 is the key to preventing colon cancer, but approximately one third of adults aged 50 to 75 years are not being screened. Cost is a major concern, due to the fact that many patients simply cannot afford the out-of-pocket expense for such a pricey procedure. But under the Affordable Care Act, that concern is diminishing.

The Affordable Care Act requires many health care plans to provide preventive services, such as colonoscopies, at little to no cost to the patient. The key word here is preventive. Your colonoscopy is considered preventive if you have no symptoms and no personal or family history of colon cancer. If you do have symptoms, such as rectal bleeding or changes in bowel habits, or a history of colon cancer, or if a polyp is discovered during your procedure, your insurance may consider it a diagnostic procedure, at which point you could incur out-of-pocket expenses (Source: Stop Colon Cancer Now).

If you are concerned about the potential costs involved with your next colonoscopy, contact your insurance provider directly and inquire about your out-of-pocket responsibility for preventive and diagnostic procedures. You can also help manage your expenses by choosing an in-network provider and by comparing the costs of various doctors.

It’s understandable to be concerned about the cost of colonoscopies, but one thing is for certain: this is one test you can’t afford to skip. The colonoscopy is still the gold standard in colon cancer screening, so don’t delay in scheduling yours. Find a screening center near you and make your health top priority.