CHICAGO — Most insurance plans will soon be required to cover all costs of an annual prostate cancer screening in Illinois.
On Friday, Gov. JB Pritzker signed House Bill 5318 which, according to the bill’s official language, “provides that a group policy of accident and health insurance that provides coverage for hospital or medical treatment or services for illness on an expense-incurred basis and is amended, delivered, issued, or renewed after January 1, 2024 (rather than the effective date of the amendatory Act) shall provide coverage, without imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement, for specified methods of cancer testing.”
In other words, eligible men who are properly insured can receive an annual prostate cancer screening without having to pay anything out-of-pocket.
According to a press release from Pritzker’s office, about 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, with an average diagnosis age of 66. Roughly 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, although diagnosis is rare in men under 40. In 2022 alone, there have been roughly 268,000 new cases of prostate cancer, with 34,500 deaths from the disease.
As noted in the bill’s language, the requirement will not go into effect until January 1, 2024 despite being signed into law on June 10, 2022.