Nebraska lawmakers to tackle cancer insurance bill

Sen. Jeremy Nordquist

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Insurance companies that cover cancer would have to treat chemotherapy pills the same as medication administered through an IV, under a bill set for a vote in the Nebraska Legislature.
The measure (LB882) by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist would require insurance companies to treat oral chemotherapy drugs the same as intravenous chemotherapy.
Nordquist says the problem for patients stems from how companies classify the treatments. 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.
The bill has drawn support from the American Cancer Society and other health advocates, but insurance industry officials say such proposals would combine over time to increase costs for small businesses and the self-employed.