Missouri Legislature Continues Discussion on Coverage for Oral Chemotherapy Medication

Gate Way Group Contact: Deanna Hemphill

In the final days of the 2013 legislative session, Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) was successful in passing Senate Bill 262, a comprehensive health insurance bill that was signed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on July 7, 2013. A key component of this bill was the formation of the Missouri Oral Chemotherapy Parity Interim Committee, which conducted its final hearing in Jefferson City this week in an effort to study the disparity in patient copayments between orally and intravenously administered chemotherapies. There was a broad range of witnesses, including lobbyists for the medical industry, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Gateway Chapter, Barnes Jewish Hospital Center for Lifelong Learning, and Carli Good, the Executive Diretor of the Susan G. Koman Greater Kansas City area; however, the most impactful stories came from cancer survivors like Rebecca Lueckenhoff, M.D., a family physician from Mid-Missouri.

Missouri’s Director of Legislative Oversight informed the committee that a draft report will be issued to members within the next few days. Representative Todd Richardson, who led this week’s meeting, also requested more clarity on if and how states that have already passed parity legislation would be affected under the Affordable Care Act and whether said states cover all oral cancer drugs under medical portion or just those that also have an IV version. The report is also expected to include the number of patients who have sought coverage through Medicare or Medicaid. The final report will be submitted to Speaker Tim Jones’ office no later than December 31, 2013.  Read more here.