Michigan patients should have access to the most effective chemotherapy treatments to successfully treat their cancer.
Yet high costs in the way some medications are administered can be a deciding factor in a patient’s treatment decision. If a patient in Michigan needs anticancer medication in pill form, it is often covered as a health insurance plan prescription benefit, requiring a patient to pay for part of the treatment. This out-of-pocket cost can run thousands of dollars each month. Intravenously administered or injected chemotherapy medications are commonly covered as a health insurance plan medical benefit and don’t require the patient to pay an additional fee for the medication.
I recently supported legislation that would create parity among the way health insurance policies cover oral cancer treatments and intravenously or injected anticancer treatments are covered. A patient should not have to worry about the cost of medicine when fighting for his or her life.
Senate Bill 492 has been sent to the House for consideration. If the legislation is adopted and signed into law, Michigan would join 43 other states with oral chemotherapy parity.