Congress has done something right, and commendable, for a change. On June 11, 2015, Congress introduced the Cancer Treatment Parity Act of 2015, which helps equalize patient out-of-pocket costs for oral chemotherapy and makes the out-of-pocket costs similar to those for parenteral chemotherapy. The legislation would require health insurance plans that cover parenteral chemotherapy to provide equally favorable coverage for oral chemotherapy.
In a statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network President (ACS CAN) Christopher Hansen commented, “ACS CAN applauds Senators Kirk (R-IL) and Franken (D-MN) and Representatives Lance (R-NJ) and Higgins (D-NY) for spearheading this important, bipartisan legislation that has the potential to remove barriers to critical treatments by ensuring patients and their oncologists can continue to decide on a course of treatment based on what is best for the patient, not by what is covered by insurance.” ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.
The next, and most difficult step, is getting this legislation passed. Contact your representatives, who can be located by entering your address at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. There’s no question that there is support for this legislation from patients and healthcare providers; however, there are concerns that insurance companies may lobby against it.