032124CM0071rSPRINGFIELD – To reduce barriers for Illinoisans trying to access a colonoscopy, State Senator Willie Preston advanced legislation requiring all health insurance plans to cover the cost of the procedure when deemed medically necessary.

“Removing hurdles for people trying to be proactive with their health is incredibly valuable,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “This legislation prioritizes preventive care, enhancing its accessibility and empowering folks to take control of their health by having access to the resources they need to be proactive.”

According to data reported from the National Cancer Institute in 2023, colon cancer was responsible for 7.8% of all new cancer cases in the United States and 8.6% of all cancer deaths. The Institute also projected that about 4.1% of the population will be diagnosed with colon cancer at some point during their lifetime based on data collected from 2017 to 2019.

Current law requires insurance coverage of a colonoscopy as a follow-up exam after receiving a recommendation from a primary care doctor. House Bill 2385 would expand coverage of a broader range of colonoscopies by removing the follow-up exam requirement. Under Preston’s measure, all colonoscopies deemed medically necessary — such as in cases where a patient displays signs or symptoms of colon cancer or has an existing colon condition — would be covered starting Jan. 1, 2025.

“Regular colonoscopy screenings are a cornerstone of colorectal cancer prevention,” said Preston. “Expanding access to these screenings offers reassurance and peace of mind to individuals seeking preventative care.”

House Bill 2385 passed the Senate Insurance Committee on Tuesday.