(Long Island, NY) Senator John E. Brooks (SD-8) announced legislation (S4716) requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnostic screening of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, according to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society has also recently reported that although the majority of colorectal cancers are found in people over 50 years of age, there has been a sharp rise of diagnoses in younger adults. In 2017, colorectal cancer is expected to cause about 50,260 deaths.
Regular screening can often prevent colorectal cancer by finding and removing polyps before they turn into cancer, as well as can detect colorectal cancer early, when it is most likely to be curable, according to the American Cancer Society.
“Colorectal cancer is on the rise, but is in large part preventable with regular screening and prevention techniques,” said Senator Brooks. “This legislation will facilitate early detection of colorectal cancer, and ultimately save lives.”
This legislation requires all medical insurance policies issued in New York State to cover diagnostic screening for colorectal cancer including digital rectal examinations at any age for people with a family history of colorectal cancer, or a personal history or polyps or inflammatory bowel disease. It is also requires coverage for an annual standard diagnostic examination for people age 50, and for people age 40 and over who have a family history of colorectal cancer.
“By requiring coverage for screenings, we can help reduce the number of people who develop colorectal cancer and the number of deaths due to the disease,” said Senator Brooks.