There is some good news; the New York State Legislature has passed the Oral Chemotherapy Equity Bill. However, before this bill can become law we have to have Governor Cuomo sign it, we need all of our New York Residents to contact the governor and ask that he signs it.
Orally administered anti-cancer medications are becoming an efficacious and necessary treatment option. Orally administered drugs allow cancer survivors to avoid constant trips to the infusion centers which is both expensive and time consuming. But in New York there can be a big difference in the coverage some insurance companies provide for this treatment versus traditional intravenous treatments. For cancer patients using an oral drug, this can mean out-of-pocket costs that are significantly higher than what they would pay for an intravenous treatment.
Decisions about treatment options are both personal and medical – they should not have to be based on finances. Under the current system many survivors elect to have infusions instead of taking a pill at home because it is cheaper!
More than a quarter of the anti-cancer drugs in the research pipeline today are intended as oral drugs, but insurance practices have not kept up with the state of science. Intravenous therapies are typically covered as a medical benefit, under which most patients only pay a co-payment for each office visit. But as the law stands, insurance companies are allowed to treat oral chemotherapy as a prescription drug benefit, which tends to have higher out-of-pocket co-payments.
The Oral Chemotherapy Equity Bill would fix this discrepancy by requiring health insurance plans to provide coverage for oral cancer drugs on a basis that is no less favorable than what’s offered for intravenously-administered chemotherapy.
Cancer patients in New York should be able to make treatment decisions based on what is best for their health – rather than how a treatment is covered by the insurer. Other states have already taken this important step. Now, It is time for New York to step up to the plate and protect its citizens!
Contact Governor Cuomo and ask him to please sign S.3988-B/A.6233-B – the Oral Chemotherapy Equity Bill which would provide
equal coverage for oral chemo. We are one step away for cancer patients in New York to have equity and medical reasons, not financial reasons, drive treatment plans!
Act now, contact the governor
Contact Governor Cuomo at: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php