Patients, doctor ask lawmakers for ‘parity’ between oral, IV chemotherapy coverage costs

Bills have been heard in the committees in the state House and Senate that would require insurance companies to charge patients the same out-of-pocket amount to cover oral chemotherapy as they would to cover intravenous chemotherapy.Insurance plans often treat oral chemotherapy as a pharmacy benefit but treat intravenous therapy as a medical benefit. This means patients generally pay more for oral than they would for intravenous.

Lawmakers have been told that makes it cost-prohibitive for some patients to get the pill form. Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Doctor Carl Freter says the pills are often much more effective and targeted at cancer cells.