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Michigan bill requires equal health coverage of cancer drugs

May 21, 2016

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Cancer patients and survivors are lobbying lawmakers to make Michigan the latest state to require equal insurance coverage of chemotherapy regardless of whether the drugs are given by needle or taken orally.

The bill addresses the tendency for chemo pills to cost patients much more out of pocket than IV chemo.

Supporters say Michigan must adapt not only because the expensive pills are becoming more prevalent but because they are more convenient - saving long trips to health care facilities for IV drips and affording patients more time at work and with family. The insurance industry and business groups opposing the legislation say it would increase health premiums on everyone else.

The legislation, which won approval 36-1 this month from the Senate, will be considered in the House next.