Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Aged; Colonoscopy (statistics & numerical data); Female; Humans; Insurance Coverage; Logistic Models; Male; Medicare; Odds Ratio; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; United States


BACKGROUND: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) waived deductibles and eliminated coinsurance for colonoscopies for Medicare beneficiaries beginning in January 1, 2011. This study investigated the effect of the ACA's directive to remove the financial barriers on the receipt of colonoscopies among the elderly insured, who are predominantly covered by Medicare. METHODS: Data from the 2008-2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were used to examine the receipt of colonoscopies in two years prior to the implementation of the ACA (2008 and 2010) and three years after the change (2012, 2014, and 2016). Multivariate logistic regressions were estimated to examine the change in colonoscopy use before and after the introduction of the ACA, adjusting for patient characteristics and availability of health care providers in the geographic region. RESULTS: Of 349,899 eligible elderly insured in the age group 65 to 75 years, 236,275 (67.2%) had received a colonoscopy in the previous ten years. The receipt of colonoscopies increased from 63.5% in pre-ACA years to 69.2% in the post-ACA years ( < 0.001). Compared with the pre-ACA period, the odds ratio of colonoscopy uptake in post-ACA years was 1.15 (95% CI = 1.08-1.22). CONCLUSIONS: A statistically significant increase in colonoscopy use was observed in the post-ACA years. However, achieving the target coverage rate of 80% will require additional interventions to encourage higher levels of screenings.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

APA Citation

Lee, M., Khan, M., Brandt, H., Salloum, R., & Chen, B. (2020). Effects of the Affordable Care Act on the Receipt of Colonoscopies among the Insured Elderly. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health, 17(1), 313.