Jun. 24, 2019

HARRISBURG – Legislation introduced by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin),
Chairman of the Bipartisan House Cancer Caucus, that would require health insurance companies to approve prescribed treatments for patients with a Stage IV metastatic cancer, passed the House of Representatives today.

“Those battling late-stage cancer should not have to jump through hoops or be delayed in getting the treatments prescribed by their doctors,” said Benninghoff. “They should have access to the best proven treatments available.”

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 “fail first,” meaning they must 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.

Benninghoff’s House Bill 427 would provide Stage IV metastatic cancer patients access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors, regardless of what their insurance plan typically covers.

“Time is everything for those facing Stage IV metastatic cancer,” Benninghoff said. “We shouldn’t require that very sick cancer patients, who are in the fight of their lives, get sicker and sicker before they are given access to treatment that may help them improve,” Benninghoff said.

House Bill 427 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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
KerryBenninghoff.com / Facebook.com/RepBenninghoff