Harvard Men's Health Watch

Not requiring a co-pay boosts colorectal screening

Eliminating co-pays may convince more people to seek colorectal cancer screening. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurers can't always charge co-pays for certain preventive procedures. In a study in Clinical Gastroenterology and In 2009, the first year the ACA's co-pay limit went into effect, the percentage of people who underwent colonoscopy increased by 18%.

People often avoid colonoscopy because of the bowel-purging "prep" it requires. However, under the ACA anyone ages 50-75 can get colonoscopy paid for every 10 years. Although a preventive service may be fully covered, the visit to the doctor's office could still carry a co-pay.

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