COLUMBUS– Today, the Ohio Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation joint sponsored by Assistant Democratic Leader Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) and Senator Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) requiring insurance companies to provide equal coverage of cancer chemotherapy medication.

Under Senate Bill 99, if the plan provides coverage for cancer chemotherapy treatment, health plan issuers are prohibited from providing less favorable coverage for prescribed, orally administered medication than for intravenously administered or injected medications.

This restriction prohibits imposing a coverage limit, co-payment, co-insurance, deductible, or other out-of-pocket expense that is greater than that which applies to coverage for intravenously administered or injected cancer medications.

“This is about fairness and choice for the patients and the providers,” said Senator Tavares. “We sponsored this legislation to improve the quality of life and health of a patient that is going through cancer treatment.” 

SB 99 also prohibits insurers from reducing coverage for either orally administered or intravenously administered or injected cancer medications to levels lower than those in place on the effective date of the bill.

“The bill allows physicians to select the right treatment, in the most appropriate form—oral, injected or intravenously—for each unique patient that fits their needs,” said Tavares.

Both senators have carried and introduced this legislation over the last six years.

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