Insurance Giant Aetna Expands Colonoscopy Coverage to Age 45
Even though the American Cancer Society lowered the recommended age to start colonoscopy screenings to 45 in 2018, few insurance carriers have extended their coverage to match. Aetna, the third largest health insurance company in the United States, is now covering colonoscopy screenings for average-risk patients starting at 45.
Previously, the recommended age to start screening colonoscopies in average-risk individuals was 50. Average risk means a patient does not have a family history of colon cancer, symptoms of colon cancer, or a part of other increased-risk groups.
Aetna is the first major insurer to roll out the new coverage across all plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield has been covering colonoscopies at age 45 on some plans. This includes plans from H-E-B, University of Texas System, and BCBS Federal Plan.
New Colonoscopy Coverage at Age 45
The key change from Aetna is in their “Routine Screening” section for Colorectal Cancer coverage.
Aetna now considers a colonoscopy as a colorectal cancer screening test as medically necessary for preventive services for average-risk members aged 45 years and older when recommended by their physician.
Medically necessary preventative care is usually covered at no cost to the patient. This exemption often means patients don’t have to worry about copays, deductibles, or coinsurance.
We recommend contacting your insurance company to confirm your coverage benefits.
Read more about colonoscopy screenings for colorectal cancer.