Why Choose a Colonoscopy?
The colonoscopy is widely recognized as the gold standard when it comes to screenings for colon cancer because it can both detect and treat in the same procedure. This method of colon screening is unique because it can actually prevent colon cancer by removing polyps before they become cancerous. Other screenings only detect cancer.
Most insurance plans do cover colonoscopies, but coverage varies from plan to plan. It is the responsibility of the patient to determine the estimated out-of-pocket expenses associated with a colonoscopy. For more information on what to ask your insurance company, please read Questions to Ask Your Insurance Provider to Determine Your Colonoscopy Cost.
Screening vs. Diagnostic Colonoscopy
A screening colonoscopy is a colonoscopy performed on an asymptomatic (without symptoms) patient of screening age to examine for colon polyps or cancer. Due to an increased incidence of colon cancer in younger adults, the American Cancer Society lowered the screening age to 45 for men and women at average risk in 2018. You should be screened earlier than age 45 if you have a first-degree family history. People under 45 with family history can often qualify for a high-risk screening colonoscopy at low or no cost.
Depending on your individual plan, insurance companies may pay for the actual screening procedure at 100 percent. However, it is important to note that while the American Cancer Society has lowered the screening age, many insurers have yet to adjust their plans accordingly. This means a screening colonoscopy may not be free if you are between the ages of 45 and 49. Be sure to verify your financial responsibility for the procedure itself, as well as anesthesia, polyp removal and further care (if required). For more information on what to ask your insurance company, please read Questions to Ask Your Insurance Provider to Determine Your Colonoscopy Cost.
If you exhibit symptoms and undergo a colonoscopy, perhaps as a result of a positive alternative test like Cologuard or FIT, it is considered a diagnostic colonoscopy. This means you will have to pay 100 percent of the out-of-pocket cost if your deductible has not been met, regardless of your age.
Schedule a Colonoscopy
Colon cancer is 90 percent treatable when discovered early, making a colonoscopy the best colorectal screening method to detect and prevent colon cancer in its early stages when it can be treated most effectively.
Click here to find a fellowship-trained gastroenterologist in your area and schedule your colon cancer screening today.