- A Senate bill filed Monday by Gayle Harrell would require health insurers in Florida to cover skin cancer screening in policy coverage options
- The bill would impact policies issued or renewed after Jan 1, 2024
- The piece of legislation also prevents an insurer from bundling payment for skin cancer screenings with any other procedure or service
- Florida has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the country
Sen. Gayle Harrell filed a bill on Monday that would require all health insurers offering coverage in the state of Florida to cover skin cancer screenings in their policy offerings.
The bill would impact all policies issued or renewed after Jan 1, 2024, and mandates that insurers must provide coverage and payment, without imposing a deductible, copayment, coinsurance, or any other cost-sharing requirement, for annual skin cancer screenings performed by a dermatologist.
The policy also prevents an insurer from bundling payment for skin cancer screenings with any other procedure or service, including an evaluation and management visit that is performed during the same office visit or a subsequent office visit.
While some insurers may not cover the cost of skin cancer screening, some, including Florida Blue, have partnered with dermatology clinics to offer free or reduced-cost screenings.
Similarly, free-standing hospitals or local clinics around the state frequently hold free screenings due to Florida having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the United States due to its large senior population and year-round sunny weather.
The two most common types of skin cancer in Florida are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, both of which are typically caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.
These types of skin cancer are usually not fatal, but they can cause disfigurement and other complications if left untreated.
Melanoma, the third most common type of skin cancer, is more aggressive and can be fatal if not caught and treated early. Melanoma is also caused by exposure to UV rays, but can also be caused by exposure to artificial UV rays from tanning beds.