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Insurers now required to cover follow-up colonoscopies

Surprise bills for colonoscopies following a stool-based screening test with positive results are now prohibited, according to Health Day

The Biden administration issued guidance requiring private insurers to cover these colonoscopies Jan. 10.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in women and men each year in the U.S., with the exception of skin cancer, according to cancer.net.

"Patients have full coverage of the full screening continuum — from an initial stool or endoscopic test to a follow-up colonoscopy," American Gastroenterological Association President John Inadomi, MD, said in an association news release. "Now that the financial barriers have been eliminated, we can focus on increasing screening so we can prevent cancer deaths."

This guidance furthers the requirement that plans provide screening to patients 45 and older for plan or policy years beginning on or after May 31, 2022. Patients with health insurance plans that have already been implemented should check with their insurer, as they may not include this coverage until 2023.

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