Senate votes to require insurance parity for chemotherapy

LANSING (AP) — Health insurers would be required to provide cancer patients the same coverage for certain oral drugs as for intravenous medications under a bill moving forward in the Michigan Legislature.

The Senate approved the legislation 36-1 last week and the bill now moves on to the House.

Chemotherapy fairness laws are on the books in 40 other states, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.

The legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Goeff Hansen of Hart would lower monthly out-of-pocket costs for patients whose doctors prescribe cancer pills, which can cost much more than the expense of sitting for IV drippings.

Advocates say cancer pills help patients continue working and traveling without having to go for IV treatments.