Senate OKs Requiring Equal Coverage Of Oral Cancer Drugs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan would become the latest in a long line of states to require equal insurance coverage of chemotherapy regardless of whether the drugs are given by needle or taken orally under a bill advancing in the Legislature.

The legislation approved 36-1 by the Republican-led Senate Wednesday addresses the tendency for chemo pills to cost patients much more out of pocket, both because they are more expensive and because health insurers cover them differently than IV chemo.

The bill [Senate Bill 492] would ensure that insurance coverage of oral anti-cancer medicines is not more financially restrictive than intravenously or injected medications.

A similar measure easily cleared the Senate last session but died in the Republican-led House. Its fate this session is unclear.

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