A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans are more concerned than ever about the rising costs of healthcare. Approximately 30 percent of Americans admit to skipping out on medical care because of the cost – a significant increase from ten years ago when just 25 percent chose to forego treatment. This figure is even higher among the uninsured, with three in five Americans choosing to skip medical treatment over cost concerns (Source: Think Progress).
It’s always wise to be a smart shopper, especially when it comes to medical care. But if cost concerns are causing you to skip out on your colonoscopy, the expense in the long run could be much greater than you anticipated. Take a moment to compare the cost of a colonoscopy versus the cost of treating colon cancer, and ask yourself whether the risk is worth the savings.
The American Cancer Society recommends that people of average risk begin screening colonoscopies at the age of 50 and every 10 years thereafter. Patients who are considered high risk should begin screening earlier and possibly more frequently. For patients who have health insurance, the out-of-pocket expense for a colonoscopy can range from zero to more than $1,000, depending on the deductible and coinsurance amounts outlined in the policy (Source: CostHelper Health). Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and most private insurers now cover screening colonoscopies and anesthesia services at no cost to the patient.
The individual cost of treating colon cancer is more difficult to estimate because expenses vary greatly from patient to patient. A 2008 report published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that the total cost of chemotherapy to treat colorectal cancer can vary by as much as $36,999 per patient (Source: Medscape). However, according to annual mean net costs from the National Cancer Institute, the initial cost of treating colorectal cancer is approximately $51,327 in females and $51,812 in males, with continuing annual costs of $3,159 and $4,595 in females and males, respectively.
Medical expenses are legitimate concern, but they should never prevent you from seeking necessary treatment. If cost concerns have kept you from scheduling your colonoscopy, call you insurance company or medical provider today and ask for an estimate. This life-saving procedure could cost far less than you anticipated or nothing at all! You’ll also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve reduced your risk of colon cancer, and that’s truly priceless indeed!