LANSING — State Representative Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights) introduced legislation this week that would require health insurers to provide coverage for colorectal exams. House Bill 4968 would amend the Insurance Code (Public Act 218 of 1956) to require coverage for colorectal cancer screenings, laboratory tests and certain procedures. The bill was drafted with input from and support of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Under the Affordable Care Act, new insurance plans, dated Sept. 23, 2010, or later, are required to provide for screenings, while plans in place before that are not required to provide for these screenings unless there is a state law. Michigan is one of about 20 states that does not require coverage.

“Cancer has impacted the lives of numerous Michigan residents. The purpose of this legislation is to address this extremely important topic by ensuring that all residents covered under an insurance policy have access to screenings in our state,” Plawecki said. “This is a proposal that could increase prevention and ultimately save lives. Many states have passed similar laws, and I encourage the Michigan Legislature to act on this very important issue.”