Colorectal cancer care advocacy groups and physician organizations are calling on the U.S. Congress to approve a bill that would provide Medicare coverage for screening CT colonography.
The bipartisan CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (S 3465/HR 1298) would cover virtual colonoscopy scans. Currently, 37 states require insurance policies to cover the procedure.
In addition, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers that participate in federal exchanges to cover the exam with no copay. Cigna, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield are among the payors that cover virtual colonoscopy, regardless of ACA requirements. However, Medicare refuses to provide coverage for senior citizens for the scan.
"Medicare coverage of virtual colonoscopy can help increase screening in underserved areas and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes," said Anne Carlson, president of the Colon Cancer Coalition. "All seniors should have covered access to the test that they will actually choose to have."