Health care reform provisions will be implemented Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, including free preventive care, which includes colonoscopies.
Starting Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, preventive care provisions in the new health care reform law could save some insured patients up to $1,000 in deductible payments for colonoscopies and other treatments.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers that change their plans on or after Sept. 23 must provide free colonoscopies – meaning insurance companies will not be allowed to charge a deductible, co-pay or co-insurance for preventive services.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women combined, but with timely screenings, yearly colon cancer deaths could be reduced by 90%, according to the American Cancer Society. Free preventive care is an exciting step in the fight against colon cancer.
Colonoscopies will not be free under everyone’s insurance plans right away. This provision only goes into effect when employer-provided or individually-purchased health insurance plans are changed, not simply renewed. In order to help prevent colon cancer, patients who currently can’t afford their colonoscopy need to know to call their health insurer to see if this new provision affects them.
Medicare patients will be able to receive free colonoscopies in January 2011.