State Reps. Fred Camillo, Livvy Floren and Lile Gibbons voted Thursday in favor of a bill that would require health insurance policies to provide coverage for bone marrow testing.
Bone marrow transplant is a treatment for more than 70 life-threatening diseases, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia. Before a bone marrow transplant can be performed, blood tests must be done to find donors with close bone marrow matches. The bill would increase the number of people tested and add to the donor list each year in order to increase the number of transplant matches.
A patients time on the waiting list before getting a transplant would decrease and there would be a cost reduction of the medical treatment that would otherwise be covered by insurance as medically necessary in lieu of transplantation, said Gibbons (R-150th District). To me this measure would benefit all parties involved.
According to the National Marrow Donor Program, one of the most significant barriers in adding to the registry is the cost of testing. The programs goal is to meet the needs of Americans searching for donor transplantation, regardless of racial or ethnic heritage. Some patients never find an appropriate match and die waiting on the list for bone marrow transplant, said Floren (R-149th District)
The bill would provide a better support to donors and those in need by ensuring bone marrow testing is performed in safe, accredited facilities, and that all results are shared in a secure national database, said Camillo (R-151st District).
The bill now moves to the state Senate.
Do you think bone marrow testing should be required in health insurance? Do you know anyone who is on a bone marrow transplant waiting list? Leave a comment below.
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