To increase access to and coverage for innovative tests that can detect multiple types of cancer, U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) reintroduced the Medicare Multicancer Early Detection (MCED) Screening Coverage Act. Bipartisan companion legislation was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

The legislation would provide Medicare coverage for screening tests to detect cancer before symptoms develop, possibly saving lives and reducing healthcare system costs. Its key features include:

  • Establish a coverage pathway under Medicare for certain Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved MCED tests.
  • Authorize the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide Medicare coverage for FDA-approved MCED screening tests, enabling beneficiaries to access the technologies.
  • Maintain CMS authority to use an evidence-based process to determine coverage parameters for the new tests.
  • State that new diagnostic technologies will supplement, not replace, existing screenings and will not impact existing coverage and cost-sharing.

“Multicancer early detection testing technologies have the potential to provide a vital new tool in the fight against cancer, transforming the screening landscape to detect as many as dozens of cancer types, often long before symptoms even emerge,” Crapo said. “Bennet and I are reintroducing our bipartisan legislation to ensure Medicare coverage for these lifesaving screening tools, enabling seniors from across the country to access proven multicancer early detection tests. The bill has the potential to save and enhance lives, as well as reduce long-term cost burdens for patients, families, and caregivers.”

“I know from my personal experience with cancer that early detection can make all the difference and save lives,” Bennet said. “That’s why it’s so important for the U.S. Congress to pass this bill.”