Legislation gains committee support
HARRISBURG – Legislation introduced by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), majority whip and chairman of the bipartisan Cancer Caucus, would require health insurance companies approve the prescribed treatment for patients with a Stage IV metastatic cancer diagnosis. The bill passed the House Health Committee today with bipartisan support.
“Those battling late-stage cancer should have access to the best and proven treatments prescribed by their doctors,” said Benninghoff.
Under current law, insurance companies have the ability to set coverage guidelines that govern how and when treatments are approved. Sometimes those guidelines require Stage IV patients to first try an insurance-mandated series of medications that fail to improve the condition before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor.
House Bill 427
, formerly House Bill 1280, would provide Stage IV metastatic cancer patients access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors, no matter what their insurance plan typically covers.
“Time is of the essence for those facing Stage IV metastatic cancer,” Benninghoff said. “We shouldn’t require that very sick cancer patients, who are often fighting for their lives, get even sicker before we give them access to the treatment they need,” Benninghoff said.
Benninghoff’s legislation is supported by the American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network Pennsylvania, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Support Community, Community Oncology Alliance, Lungevity, National Organization of Rare Disorders, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Coalition, Pennsylvania Society of Gastroenterology, Pennsylvania Society of Oncology & Hematology, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Morgan Wagner