Lawmakers consider bill requiring health insurance coverage of colorectal cancer screenings


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — “Early screening saves lives,” Sen. Maryellen Goodwin said while testifying in favor of a bill that would make it mandatory for health insurance providers to cover colorectal cancer screenings.

Goodwin, 55, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year and is the bill’s main sponsor.

The bill would prohibit cost-sharing for patients 45 or older for colorectal screening examinations, laboratory tests and colonoscopies covered by health insurance policies or plans. 

Goodwin first introduced the legislation last January, which passed in the Senate but stalled in the House.

“Early detection is so important,” she said. “An estimated 100 Rhode Islanders will die of colon cancer this year ─ there are more studies and more therapies that are improving, and that’s a good thing.”

Goodwin’s bill is part of a larger package of bills being heard by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services aimed at addressing the high price of prescription drugs.

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