The end of the year is a really busy time for most of us, so you’re probably not thinking about your health plan deductible and if you’ve met it! But it’s important to think about it now, before the year’s over and your deductible resets. This is the time to make good use of that health insurance plan and make sure procrastination doesn’t delay those important health screenings.

One of the health screenings people tend to procrastinate about is their colonoscopy , particularly if they feel fine. The American Cancer Society  estimates that about one-third of adults aren’t current on their colon screenings. But a colonoscopy is one of the best ways to help you prevent colon cancer .

So, if you’re considering a colonoscopy or suspect it’s high time you had one, don’t put it off any longer. Stop wondering if you’re eligible for a free colonoscopy, whether you can afford one, and whether you’ve met your deductible. Find out now!

It only takes 2 checks and 2 actions:

  • CHECK 1: Is it time for a colonoscopy?

This depends on your age and risk factors. A family history of colon cancer or polyps or a personal history of polyps may mean it’s wise for you to have a colonoscopy earlier than is standard. Ask your doctor about the optimum age for your first screening.

If you’re at average risk, the recommended age for a first colonoscopy is 50. However, it’s advisable for African-Americans to have their first colon screening at 45.

If you’ve already had your baseline colonoscopy, it’s important to know when you should have your next one. Typically, if a baseline colonoscopy comes back normal, the recommended interval until your next screening is 10 years. However, the presence of risk factors and your FAMILY HISTORY  can change this schedule, so check with your doctor.

  • CHECK 2: How will you fund your colonoscopy?

If you’ve discovered you’re due for a colonoscopy, the next step is to think about finances.

First, use the Member Services number on your health care ID card to contact your health care provider. They can confirm the amount of your annual deductible and check if you’ve used it yet.

Then, take our Free Colonoscopy Quiz . Many people qualify for a free or low-cost colonoscopy, even if they haven’t met their deductible. Our simple quiz will help you discover if you’re one of them.

Okay. You’re armed with the information you need. Now it’s time for action. No more dithering!

  • ACTION 1: Ask your health insurance provider for a list of their specialists and facilities.

They will have a network of providers, and you can make big saving by choosing your gastroenterologist from this list. Once you’ve chosen your gastroenterologist, you may need a referral from your primary care physician. Check with your insurance provider.

  • ACTION 2: Schedule your colonoscopy procedure.

Don’t procrastinate about this. You know you’re due for a colon screening and the finance is in place, so don’t delay – pick up the phone and book your appointment . It could be the most important thing you’ve done for your health this year.

At San Antonio Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center, every team member works hard to ensure you get the highest level of care and that includes helping you understand how to fit a colon cancer screening in your budget by making the most of your deductible. If you have questions about financing or the colonoscopy procedure, please contact SAGEC at 210-807-3250.