After 3 years, colorectal cancer screening bill heads to governor’s desk

Health

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A bill that would require insurance companies to cover the cost of colorectal cancer screenings cleared a major hurdle Tuesday.

The legislation would require all health insurers to cover the cost of colorectal cancer examinations and laboratory tests in accordance with American Cancer Society guidelines. It would also cover follow-up colonoscopies if a patient’s screening results are abnormal.

“I can personally attest to how critically important it is that everyone is able to get recommended colorectal cancer screening,” Sen. Maryellen Goodwin, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2019 said. “This legislation will save lives by increasing access to these life-saving screenings.”

The Senate recently amended the legislation to rename it the “The Maryellen Goodwin Colorectal Screening Act” to honor her advocacy for cancer screening coverage.

Goodwin has sponsored the bill for three years, and this time, it’s heading to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk for his signature.

McKee hasn’t said whether he plans to sign the bill, but the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is urging him to do so.

“This law removes a major financial barrier keeping some Rhode Islanders from receiving their recommended screenings, which comes with the cost of poorer health outcomes and lives lost,” the organization said in a statement.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Providence

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