Mo. cancer patients seek coverage of chemo pills

Feb 3, 2014

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Some cancer patients want Missouri legislators to make chemotherapy pills more affordable.

Cancer patients came to the Capitol this past week to testify for legislation that would prohibit insurance companies from charging patients more for oral chemotherapy than for intravenous treatments.

Chemotherapy pills often are more costly because they are covered as a pharmacy benefit instead of a medical benefit subject to a typical doctor's office co-payment.

Twenty-seven states already have laws requiring equal coverage for oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments.

An actuarial study found Missouri health insurance premiums would rise by an average of 57 cents per month if a law were enacted requiring equal coverage for oral chemotherapy.

A lobbyist for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri says that equates to a $12 million impact statewide.