A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to see the inside of your large intestine, also called the colon. The large intestine removes water and salts from food and then passes waste products out of the body. A colonoscopy also can detect problems, such as polyps or cancerous growths, before they become serious.
Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy if you have symptoms that might be due to colorectal cancer or another disorder. Colonoscopy also screens people at increased risk of colorectal cancer and polyps.
If your doctor finds a polyp during your colonoscopy, he or she may remove it with forceps or snare. The doctor may also use the same instrument during the procedure to take tissue samples (biopsies) from suspicious areas. This can help determine whether there’s any sign of cancer in those areas.
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers if it is found early enough. Colonoscopy is an important part of a complete medical examination because it can help detect polyps, which may lead to colon cancer.
Price Of A Colonoscopy Without Insurance
The typical costs of colonoscopy procedures vary widely, depending on a variety of factors. The cost for patients also depends on whether they have health insurance. Here’s a rundown:
- Patients without health insurance typically pay $2,100 to $3,764. The average colonoscopy cost is $3,081.
- Patients with health insurance pay deductibles based on their plan. Deductibles range from zero to more than $1,000.
- Patients with Medicare typically pay around 20 per cent of the Medicare-approved amount for the physician’s services, in addition to making a copayment on the outpatient facility charges.
Factors That Affect The Price Of A Colonoscopy
- Location – The cost of a colonoscopy will vary depending on where you live. In rural areas, prices tend to be lower than in cities because there is less competition and fewer medical facilities.
- Insurance Coverage – If you have insurance coverage for your colonoscopy, you may be able to receive the procedure for free or at a reduced rate (depending on your plan). However, if you don’t have insurance coverage for this type of procedure, expect to pay out-of-pocket expenses for your entire medical bill.
- Your Provider – Some doctors charge more than others for their services. This can include fees for their expertise and experience as well as their reputation in the community as an expert in their field.
- Patient health – The procedure is often performed in a hospital, which is more expensive than outpatient facilities. Patients who are at high risk may require additional resources.
Colonoscopy Cost And Insurance Coverage
As with most medical procedures, insurance companies often cover a portion of your colonoscopy costs. This is because they consider screening colonoscopies to be preventive care and therefore not subject to co-pays or deductibles. However, there may be certain limits on how much you have to pay out-of-pocket for your procedure.
For example, some plans will not cover more than one colonoscopy every 10 years; others require that you have no symptoms before they will pay for a screening exam. It’s important to check with your insurance provider before scheduling an appointment with your doctor to know exactly how much they will cover if anything.
The amount that insurance patients pay is determined by the contract between the patient’s insurance carrier and the medical provider. Choosing in-network physicians usually results in lower patient costs, but choosing out-of-network providers often results in higher patient deductibles and out-of-pocket spending.
Cost Of A Virtual Colonoscopy
The cost of a virtual colonoscopy varies, but it’s typically similar to the cost of a traditional colonoscopy.
A virtual colonoscopy is an alternative to conventional colonoscopy in which the doctor uses a CT scan to look at the inner lining of your digestive tract.
You’ll need to consult your health insurance provider before determining how much it will cost you out-of-pocket. If your insurance company offers preferred provider organizations (PPOs) or health maintenance organizations (HMOs), you may be able to get a discount on your procedure.
Virtual colonoscopy methods are usually less expensive than regular colonoscopy procedures. According to Medicare estimates, conventional colonoscopy treatments cost an average of $1,036 in 2022. In the same year, the average cost of a virtual colonoscopy was $439. According to Medicare, virtual colonoscopy procedures cost 29% less than regular procedures.
This post is intended to inform you of the costs and fees associated with a colonoscopy procedure without adequate insurance coverage. The above price points are an approximation of what a patient may be required to pay if they were not covered by insurance yet still desired to complete the procedure at a reputable institution.
If you are uninsured or underinsured and need further help with costs, contact your doctor’s office to ensure you receive cost assistance. Chances are, some groups exist to help those in the same situation.