Banking Commerce and Insurance

Bill would lower colorectal screening age

The Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee heard testimony Jan. 25 on a bill that would lower the insurance coverage age for a colorectal cancer screening from 50 to 45.

Sen. Eliot Bostar
Sen. Eliot Bostar

LB739, introduced by Sen. Eliot Bostar of Lincoln, would apply the change to most individual and group health insurance policies sold in Nebraska.

Bostar said the bill would align state law with a recommendation from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

“Our statutes should reflect national recommendations to save lives while also saving longer-term medical costs,” Bostar said.

Dr. Alan Thorson testified on behalf of the Nebraska Medical Association and other health care groups in support of LB739. Incidents of colorectal cancer have recently fallen by about 1 percent a year for individuals ages 50 to 64, Thorson said, and that likely was due to increased screening. Meanwhile, case counts have increased by about 2 percent a year for those ages 45 to 50, he said.

Robert Bell, testifying on behalf of the Nebraska Insurance Federation, also supported the bill.

“The insurance companies in Nebraska support clarifying the existing colorectal screening mandate by lowering the coverage age,” Bell said.

No one testified in opposition to LB739 and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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