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Cancer News You Need: New Laws on Biomarker Testing, Fertility Preservation, Oral Chemo, & Medicaid Expansion

This blog covers the latest news you need about new legislation, laws, and programs that may impact the cancer community. We have information on health insurance coverage for biomarker testing, fertility preservation, oral chemo, and Medicaid expansion.

National Updates

  • Federal “oral chemo parity” legislation: This would be the first law to require private health insurance companies to cover oral and self-administered chemotherapy, the same way as IV chemotherapy. Currently, many health plans have higher out-of-pocket costs for oral chemotherapy. Some states have oral chemo parity laws, but those protections vary and don’t apply to self-insured plans.

State Updates

  • Michigan is also considering legislation that would increase health insurance coverage for oral chemotherapy.
  • Starting August 7, 2023, Colorado will add 3 more reasons to take paid sick leave. First, employees can use sick time to grieve or attend funeral and memorial services. This also includes handling financial and legal matters related to the death. Second, can care for a family member whose school or place of care is closed because of weather, loss of power, heating, or an unexpected event. And, third, sick time can be used to evacuate a home because of weather, loss of power, heating, or an unexpected event.
  • Georgia expanded Medicaid on July 1, 2023. But, the Medicaid expansion includes a work requirement. People earning less than 100% of the federal poverty level will now be eligible for Medicaid, but most will need to show they are going to do 80 hours of work, training, volunteering, or education every month.
  • As of July 1, 2023, Illinois has temporarily stopped enrollment for newly eligible undocumented individuals ages 42-64. The pause in enrollment does not have an end date. The state will also set a cap on the number of undocumented seniors that can enroll in Medicaid. You can read Triage Cancer’s Quick Guide to Health Care Rights of Immigrants to learn more about options. Unable to get health insurance? Check out our Quick Guide to Charity Care Programs.
  • New York considering a law to prevent health care providers in New York from reporting medical debt to credit agencies. Health care providers include hospitals, medical providers, or ambulances. Debt collection agencies that contract with health care providers will not be allowed to report medical debt. Currently, Colorado is the only state that prevents medical debt from being included on credit reports and used to determine credit scores, with some very limited exceptions.
  • Beginning January 1, 2024:
    • Texas and Montana will require fertility preservation coverage for people diagnosed with cancer, whose treatment may cause infertility.
    • Louisiana will require insurance, besides Medicaid, to cover fertility preservation for people diagnosed with cancer, or other illnesses, whose treatments may cause infertility. This will include sperm and egg banking.
    • Check out Triage Cancer’s Quick Guide to Fertility Preservation to learn more.
  • Updates on Insurance Coverage for Biomarker Testing. This testing can give you more information about your cancer, and potentially help your treatment team make decisions that are best for you. To learn more: Triage Cancer’s Checklist to Understanding Biomarker Testing. Or, check out Triage Cancer’s Chart of State Laws for Biomarker Testing.
    • Beginning October 1, 2023, Nevada will require insurance coverage for biomarker testing for people diagnosed with certain cancers. Biomarker testing can be used for diagnosis, treatment, and management of their cancer.
    • Beginning January 1, 2024, Oklahoma will require insurance coverage for biomarker testing for certain people. The law requires biomarker testing to be used for diagnosis, treatment, management, or monitoring of a person’s condition.
    • New York is considering a bill that would require health insurance, including Medicaid, to cover biomarker testing.

If you want to advocate for a law in your state, check out Triage Cancer’s resources on policy and legislative advocacy efforts.

Stay tuned for more news at the national and state level that may impact the cancer community.

About Triage Cancer

Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit providing free education to people diagnosed with cancer, caregivers, and health care professionals on cancer-related legal and practical issues. Through events, materials, and resources, Triage Cancer is dedicated to helping people move beyond diagnosis.

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