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Rell Signs Oral Chemotherapy Bill


Posted on: 05/26/2010

Rell Signs Oral Chemotherapy

 

4:44 p.m. EDT, May 26, 2010

 

HARTFORD —

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has signed a bill that requires insurance companies to cover oral chemotherapy the same way they cover the intravenous form of the cancer treatment.

 

Many insurance plans treat different forms of chemotherapy differently, covering most or all of the cost of chemotherapy when administered intraveously in a medical office but requiring patients to pay for the pill version as if it is a prescription drug — typically, a significantly higher cost.

Many insurance plans treat different forms of chemotherapy differently, covering most or all of the cost of chemotherapy when administered intraveously in a medical office but requiring patients to pay for the pill version as if it is a prescription drug — typically, a significantly higher cost.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will prohibit that. It also prohibits insurers from reclassifying anticancer medications or increasing patients' out-of-pocket costs to comply with the requirement.

 

"The choice on how to treat cancer is a deeply personal one for every patient. Opting for the convenience and privacy of taking chemotherapy pills at home should not carry added costs at a very difficult time in one's life," Rell said in a written statement Wednesday. "It is not fair that some plans would cover 100 percent of an IV treatment but insist on sometimes costly co-payments for prescription pills that are intended to do the same thing."

 

The law will apply to about half of the people in Connecticut with health insurance. Plans that are self-insured, which is common among larger companies, are not subject to state regulations.

 


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