American Lung Association Applauds Alaska's New Expanded Coverage of Lung Cancer Screening

Effective March 3, 2023, the Department of Health in Alaska adopts its regulation to cover all U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) preventive services with an “A” or “B” rating for Medicaid recipients including lung cancer screening for those at high risk and tobacco cessation, without cost-sharing. The American Lung Association in Alaska applauds this move and encourages everyone who is eligible to receive lung cancer screening.
“As the Leadership Board President for the American Lung Association in Alaska, I am so proud of Alaska for adopting these new regulations. This is just the first step in ensuring access to those who are most at risk for lung cancer. The next step is to make this information available to Alaskans throughout our state,” said Julie Millington.
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths here in Alaska and across America. Screening is used to detect lung cancer early when it is more likely to be curable. In fact, if lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving five years or more improves to 61%,” said Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy, American Lung Association in Alaska. “Now that lung cancer screening is covered by Alaska Medicaid, many more residents will have access to this life-saving screening.”
Alaska Medicaid will follow the USPSTF eligibility criteria for lung cancer screening, meaning individuals are eligible for screening if they are between the ages of 50-80, have a 20 pack-year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 20 years, 2 packs a day for 10 years, etc.), and are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.
“We encourage Alaskans who meet the eligibility requirements to speak with their doctor. Once your doctor orders the screening, the CT scan itself is quick and painless,” continued Nyssen.
Learn more about lung cancer screening and take a free online quiz to determine your lung cancer risk at More information on Alaska Medicaid program can be found here.
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