NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Exact Sciences announced today that its Cologuard colon cancer screening test is now covered by Tricare, the healthcare program of the US Department of Defense.
All 9.4 million active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel, as well as veterans and their dependents, are now covered to use Cologuard every three years without patient coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles, Exact said. This policy decision brings Tricare's screening policies in line with the preventive services coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
In an advisory notice to Congress, Tricare added that the decision to cover Cologuard also falls in line with recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. "Collectively, these changes will revise Tricare colon cancer screening provisions to allow coverage of stool DNA testing (e.g., Cologuard) once every 3 years beginning at the age of 50 for individuals at average risk of colon cancer based on the USPSTF's most recent recommendations," Tricare noted.
Coverage became effective on June 21.
"Cologuard is the ideal patient-friendly colon cancer screening option for America's active military and veterans to use at home, ensuring they can efficiently be screened for the most preventable form of cancer," said Exact Chairman and CEO Kevin Conroy in a statement. "Ensuring Cologuard is available to those who serve our country and their families with no out-of-pocket cost through Tricare is a critical step toward increasing colon cancer screening."
This decision is one of several positive coverage policies Exact has received for Cologuard in recent months. In August, the company said Cologuard would be covered by Health Care Services and Florida Blue, as well as Medicare Advantage plans.