Insurance coverage

Arizona advocates push to pass biomarker insurance coverage legislation | Arizona

(The Center Square) – Volunteers from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) traveled from across the state to the Arizona State Capitol to lobby for insurance coverage for new cancer screening tests.

The volunteers traveled there to urge lawmakers to pass legislation ensuring more insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover biomarker testing.

The American Cancer Society Action Network said on Monday that the drug improves cancer outcomes, including chances of survival and quality of life after cancer. He notes that patients with certain types of lung cancers have a 34% reduction in mortality if they receive biomarker testing and targeted therapy.

“Biomarker testing and precision medicine help extend and save lives by tailoring care and treatment to a person’s individual condition,” said ACS CAN Arizona Director of Government Relations Brian Hummell, in a press release. “This legislation will help dismantle cost barriers and bring the promise of precision medicine to more cancer patients, regardless of income, race or place of residence.”

Minority, low-income and rural patients receiving care at non-academic medical centers are less likely to receive biomarker testing, the statement said. The organization argues that expanding insurance coverage will help close the disparity gap.

A tax analysis of the bill indicated that adding biomarker testing would not significantly increase costs to taxpayers through public employee insurance plans.

On February 24, the Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 2144, which would expand insurance coverage for biomarker testing. However, it has not yet been voted on by the Senate.

“We thank the House for approving this vital legislation and urge the Senate to follow suit by taking steps to expand coverage and access to biomarker testing,” said ACS Senior State Ambassador Melissa Norred. CAN, in the press release. “This is a critical step towards reducing health inequities and improving cancer outcomes.”