Blue Cross Lowers Screening Age for Colorectal Cancer
Younger people under the age of 55 are accounting for more of the new cases of colon cancer than ever before.
While colorectal cancer can be devastating, if caught early enough it is highly treatable and lives can be saved.
To help expand access to life-saving screening tests, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will cover colorectal screenings for most members beginning at age 45 as of July 1, 2021. Previously, screenings were covered beginning at age 50.
This change aligns with recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The rate of colon cancer has decreased in people 65 and older during the past 20 years as more people have followed recommendations for screening tests. But from 2011 to 2016, rates increased by 1% each year in individuals ages 50 to 64 and increased by 2.2% each year in people under age 50.
The gold standard for colon cancer screening is colonoscopy.
Blue Cross and Blue Care Network cover screening colonoscopy without any copay for insured individuals that meet the age requirement. Those who are approaching age 45 or older and have not yet had a screening colonoscopy should talk with their doctor about getting one and repeating it every 10 years unless given a different recommended schedule or approach by their physician.
Learn about signs of colon cancer, prevention and more at bcbsm.com/colorectal.
More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- Signs of Colon Cancer
- How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy
- What Colonoscopy Results Show You About Your Health
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