Chemo drug bill passes

By:  Newsroom

A Nebraska bill that would require equal  insurance coverage of oral cancer drugs has won final approval.

Lawmakers voted 46-0 Monday to send the measure to Gov. Dave Heineman. LB882 by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist would require insurance companies to treat intravenous and oral chemotherapy treatments the same for coverage purposes. Nordquist has said the idea for the bill came from his brother, an Omaha doctor, who reported encounters with roughly half a dozen patients who could not afford oral cancer drugs even though it was the preferred treatment.

Insurance policies usually cover the cost of IV chemotherapy as a medical benefit, while oral medications are viewed as prescription drug benefits with much larger copayments.