Alaska governor signs bill to widen access to colon cancer screening

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Last week a bill was signed by Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski to assure that state-regulated insurance plans will cover the costs of colon cancer screenings, the Associated Press reports.
           
The state legislation will go into effect at the start of 2007 and would impact about a third of all insurance plans in Alaska.

Other policies are regulated by the federal government or through companies that are self-insured, said Emily Nenon, government relations director at the American Cancer Society, the AP reports.
           
It is hoped that this bill will influence those plans out there that do not cover colon cancer screening, added Nenon, the AP reports.

More than 55,000 are expected to die in the United States this year from the disease, the American Cancer Society estimates.