Colon cancer screening starting at age 50
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) focuses on the screening and preventive needs of Americans at average risk of cancer and other diseases. As a result, most health insurance companies cover colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50 with no out-of-pocket costs to the patient. There are some distinctions between screening and diagnostic exams. If polyps are found in a colorectal screening, future exams may be considered diagnostic and patients may incur out-of-pocket costs.
Health insurers usually cover colonoscopies for high-risk people under the age of 50 when recommended by expert medical guidelines but they are not required to cover this screening at 100% so patients often have to pay deductibles, coinsurance and copays.
Note that the ACA does not apply to Medicare or Medicaid. They have their own rules. See the Insurance & Paying for Care section of our website to learn more.