Mo. Senate panel backs chemotherapy parity bills

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Senate panel has advanced legislation that could lower costs for some cancer patients.

Bills endorsed Tuesday by the Senate insurance committee would require insurance companies to charge patients the same out-of-pocket costs for chemotherapy pills as they do for intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

Patients often currently are charged much more for oral chemotherapy. That's because it is handled as a pharmacy benefit while intravenous treatments often trigger only a standard co-payment for an office visit.

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia already have enacted laws requiring equal coverage for oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

The Missouri legislation now goes to the full Senate. A similar proposal is pending in a House committee.

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Chemotherapy bills are SB66 and SB668.

Online:

Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov

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