Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz that requires health insurance carriers to cover oral anti-cancer medications on a no less favorable basis than intravenous anti-cancer medications was signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Christie.
TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 18 -- The New Jersey Assembly Republicans issued the following news release:
"A cancer patient and their family face many emotional, physical and financial challenges when dealing with this disease. They shouldn't have to be concerned with the additional burden of worrying if the best form of medication for them is affordable," explained Munoz, R-Union, who is a registered nurse and clinical nurse specialist.
"Chemotherapy has progressed to the point where intravenous treatment is not the only option available. Science and medicine have reached the point where oral anti-cancer medications have become more widely available," she continued. "Unfortunately, they can be very expensive and the difference in out of pocket costs that patients pay in New Jersey for oral chemotherapy versus intravenous chemotherapy can be staggering, making access to oral anti-cancer drugs for some patients unaffordable."
The bill, S-1834/A-2666, requires health insurance carriers (hospital, medical and health service corporations, individual, small employer, and larger group commercial insurers, and health maintenance organizations), the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP), and the School Employees' Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) to provide coverage of expenses for prescribed, orally administered anti-cancer medications used to kill or slow the growth of cancerous cells on a basis no less favorable than the policy or contract provides for intravenously administered or injected anti-cancer medications.
Munoz' bill passed the General Assembly on January 9, 2012 and the Senate on December 15, 2011.
TNS MJ88-120119-3745580 StaffFurigay