Calif. bill would lower cost of chemotherapy pills

12:18 PM, Aug 22, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Patients undergoing chemotherapy would pay less for pill-based treatments under legislation sent to the governor over the objections of some health plans and insurers. 

The state Assembly passed AB 1000 Wednesday on 51-12 vote. 

The bill would prohibit health plans and insurance policies from charging more for covering oral chemotherapy than for the intravenous treatment. It would take effect in 2013 if signed into law. 

Assem. Henry Perea, D-Fresno has said he introduced the bill after meeting patients who traveled long distances for chemotherapy in medical centers because their health plans charged exorbitant fees for the oral version of the treatment. 

Perea said some had plans charging $10,000 co-payments for pills they could take at home.

Opposing groups warned that the legislation could increase health care prices and premiums.

The Associated Press

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