It’s hard to believe that 2017 will soon be over and the new year will soon be here. And while your thoughts might be focused on upcoming year-end celebrations or vacation time, one end-of-the-year event you may not have considered, but should, is having a colonoscopy.
Why now? Because there’s a good chance that it could be a low- or no-cost screening, if you have traditional health coverage. Since the deductible on most health insurance resets on January 1 each year, you may have a short window of opportunity in the next two months to schedule a colonoscopy with potentially limited out-of-pocket expense.
You will need to find out what your deductible is per calendar year on your health plan, and if you have met it or are close to meeting it. If you have had medical appointments or treatments earlier in the year, chances are you have been making payments towards your deductible, so it may already be met
A deductible is the dollar amount that you’re required pay out of pocket for your health care services before your health insurance or plan kicks in and starts to pay. It’s important to know that your deductible does not apply to all medical services.
Because not every service counts, it’s a smart practice to always contact your insurance provider before scheduling any screening or procedure to find out whether an out-of-pocket cost will be counted toward your deductible.
Then now may be an excellent time to schedule a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer, if you need one.
If you are 50 or older (or, if you are 45 and African-American) or if you have a family history of polyps or colon cancer, you should have a colonoscopy.
Colonoscopies range in cost, depending on where you live and where you go for the procedure, but can be as high as several thousand dollars. Before you have your procedure, contact your insurance policy so you understand exactly what you may be expected to pay toward your colonoscopy. If you have been paying into your deductible throughout 2017, the amount you are responsible could be very small or you might owe nothing.
Maybe, but you need to check with your insurance provider first. You’ll need to make sure you choose a doctor and facility that is in your provider’s network. If you don’t, you later may have the unpleasant surprise of finding out your procedure was not covered or your out-of-pocket could be higher than you expected.
Keep in mind that even if your doctor is “in the network,” he or she might work at several locations. This is important information, because your doctor must perform your colonoscopy at a facility that is in-network, too.