Typically, Medicare waives coinsurance for colonoscopies because the procedure is classified as preventative care. When a polyp is discovered and removed, however, the procedure is classified as therapeutic care. Beneficiaries are required to pay coinsurance for therapeutic care. This can be problematic for many seniors, especially those who are on a fixed income.
For this reason, ASCA and many other associations support the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act. This legislation would eliminate the cost for Medicare beneficiaries when a polyp is discovered and removed, ensuring that co-pays do not deter a patient from getting the screening. By eliminating this financial barrier, this legislation would promote screening and save lives. Thanks to your advocacy, the legislation now has more than 300 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, and more than 60 in the Senate.
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For more information or questions, write Steven Selde, ASCA’s assistant director of government and legislative affairs.