Many who have health insurance in Atlanta, Georgia want to know if their health insurance plan covers colonoscopy's. The short answer is "yes".
The longer answer is, "it depends".
Obamacare gave us a list of 80 or so preventive care benefits that are supposed to be "free" from your health insurance plan. Free is defined as, "you don't have to pay anything when you have the service but your premiums will go up to cover the cost of the free care".
Included are things like colorectal cancer screening (not the same as a colonoscopy) for adults over age 50. To find the expanded list you have to go to a diferent area and look at the expanded list. The "fine print" doesn't really clear anything up.
The USPSTF recommends screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy, in adults, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years. The risks and benefits of these screening methods vary.
So the USPSTF,(sounds like something offered at the Post Office doesn't it?), says testing can include fecal blood testing, simoidoscop OR colonoscopy.
Do I get to pick which one I want?
If the blood test indicates more testing is needed, is the 2nd round free?
Not necessarily . . .
If the blood test or sigmoidoscopy indicated there were some problems, a follow up exam (such as a colonoscopy) would be classified as diagnostic and not part of your "free" exam.
So choose wisely.
Here is what the CDC says about colorectal cancer screening.
Colonoscopy, where physicians use a flexible, lighted tube (colonoscope) to inspect visually the interior walls of the rectum and the entire colon, should be administered every 10 years. During this procedure, samples of tissue may be collected for closer examination, or polyps may be removed. Colonoscopies can be used as screening tests or as follow-up diagnostic tools when the results of another screening test are positive.
Colonoscopy also is used as a diagnostic test when a person has symptoms, and it can be used as a follow-up test when the results of another colorectal cancer screening test are unclear or abnormal.
A diagnostic test is not preventive care.
You might recall the CDC and HHS caught a lot of flack a year ago when they (CDC) issued a report claiming that mammograms were not always reliable and unnecessary.
There was so much backlash from women that both organizations had to backtrack and say these were merely SUGGESTIONS but not absolute guidelines.
Getting back to your colon, if you have a colonoscopy it is most likely a covered expense. As for getting it for "free", that is another issue.
Even if the colonoscopy is not free, you will most likely get a discount. The Healthcare Bluebook gives us an idea of how much a colonoscopy costs in Atlanta, Georgia.
Total is $1579 based on Bluebook results.
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