PrestonSPRINGFIELD – Emphasizing the critical need for improved access to colonoscopy screenings, State Senator Willie Preston advanced legislation to facilitate the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer.

“By making these screenings more accessible, we offer individuals the opportunity to detect and address health concerns early on, minimizing the risk of serious complications down the road,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “The peace of mind that comes with being confident that your insurance covers preventative care is not just a luxury — it is a fundamental right that Illinoisans will have by expanding access to these screenings.”

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 colonoscopies are the foundation of preventing colorectal cancer,” said Preston. “This legislation puts preventative care at the forefront, making it easier for Illinoisans to access the care they need in order to stay on top of their health.”

House Bill 2385 passed the Senate on Wednesday.