A new statute that became effective on April 1, 2010 requires health insurers providing coverage in Vermont to include coverage for orally administered anticancer medications.
Health insurance plans typically cover anticancer medications administered intravenously as part of a plan’s medical benefits, while oral treatments (liquids, tablets or capsules) have not been consistently covered by insurers.
Oral chemotherapy has been available for years, and many newer chemotherapy medications do not have intravenous equivalents. It is estimated that 25 percent of anticancer drugs currently in development will be administered orally. This makes the issue of paying for oral anticancer medications increasingly important to those seeking the most effective treatments available.
“The prescribing of cancer medications can now be made based on the best medical evidence instead of the form of medication covered by insurance,” said Paulette Thabault, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration. “Oral anticancer medications have expanded the treatment options for individuals battling cancer, and no Vermonter should find the use of these medications cost prohibitive because they are not covered. This statute helps address that issue.”
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