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New Data Reveals That Gaps in Coverage for Those With Private Insurance Are Major Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening
Date:3/6/2009

ustrated in a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of ACS CAN and the Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (EIF's NCCRA). The poll surveyed 1,502 American adults aged 18 and above, all of whom have private health insurance (either through an employer, a spouse's employer or private purchase), to gauge their understanding of the importance of colon cancer screenings, their screening history and the factors that might affect whether or not they get screened.

  • Ninety percent of those surveyed who were over the age of 50 (the age at which everyone at average risk for colorectal cancer should begin screening) recognized colon cancer as the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women combined and understood that colon cancer is largely preventable with appropriate screening.
  • Despite this high awareness, one-third (34%) of individuals 50-plus said they had not had a colonoscopy to check for any signs of colon cancer in the past 10 years. (Respondents were not asked about screening methods other than colonoscopy.)
  • The majority (53%) of survey respondents age 50 and older indicated that there were certain circumstances that would prevent them from getting a colonoscopy. Of those circumstances, paying for procedure costs not covered by insurance -- either all or a portion of the full cost of the procedure -- ranked at the top of the list, compared to the inconvenience and possible discomfort and of a colonoscopy, which ranked a distant third.
  • Of the respondents 50 and older who said they had a colonoscopy within the past 10 years, 44 percent had to pay out of pocket for at least part of the procedure costs.
  • However, 70 percent of all survey respondents, including two-in-three (62%) of those 50 and older, said that if they knew that their insurance covered all of their colonoscopy procedure costs, th
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SOURCE Entertainment Industry Foundation
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