Bills requiring health insurers to cover colorectal cancer Screening tests are being considered by the New Mexico Legislature. Health insurance policies issued in the state would be required by these bills (HB 510 and SB 851) to “provide coverage for colorectal screening for determining the presence of precancerous or cancerous conditions and other health problems.”
The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee gave HB 510 a “do pass” recommendation and referred it to the House Health and Government Affairs Committee on February 13, while on February 16 the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee gave a similar recommendation to SB 851 and referred it to the Senate Public Affairs Committee.
Something I’ve not seen in other colon and rectal cancer screening mandates is this requirement:
“The coverage shall make available colorectal cancer screening, as determined by the health care provider in accordance with the evidence-based recommendations of the United States preventive services task force [USPSTF].”
According to its web site the USPSTF is “the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care” whose “recommendations are considered the ‘gold standard’ for clinical preventative services.”
- New Mexico received the grade of “F” in the Colorectal Cancer Legislation Report Card issued by the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance;
- 38% of New Mexico adults age 50 and older reported never having had a colorectal cancer screening examination;
- Colorectal cancer is very treatable when detected early and can be prevented by removal of polyps; and
- Citation of a recent analysis by the American Cancer Society which “shows that colorectal cancer screening have risen faster and are significantly higher in states that have passed these coverage laws.”
The Senate version (SB 851) is sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Nava while Rep. Andrew J. Barreras is the sponsor of the House version (HB 510). If you are a resident of New Mexico, contact your state legislators and tell them to vote “yes” on these bills.