Fighting cancer with all types of chemo

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Southwest Michigan insurance patients would have access to all forms of chemotherapy, regardless of how it is administered, under legislation co-sponsored by Sen. John Proos.

“This reform has the ability to reduce the cost of certain chemotherapy treatments and save the lives of thousands of Michigan cancer patients,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “If a patient in Michigan needs oral chemotherapy treatment, the life-saving medication is currently covered as a prescription benefit — costing up to $5,000 per month. This high cost can force some patients to choose less effective treatment methods.

“This bill will ensure that patients fighting for their lives against cancer never have to factor in the cost of cancer medications when determining the best course of action.”

Senate Bill 492 would ensure that if a health insurance plan covers oral chemotherapy drugs, the medicine must be covered the same way intravenously or injected anticancer treatments are covered.

“It simply doesn’t make any sense that IV therapies would be covered fully under a person’s medical benefits, while oral treatments could cost patients thousands of dollars — especially when some cancers can only be treated by oral medications,” Proos said. “Michigan is one of only a handful of states that still has this disparity in cancer treatment coverage. It is time that we join the 43 others states that ensure patients access to all options in battling cancer.”

SB 492 has been referred to the Senate Insurance Committee for consideration.


Editor’s note — Audio comments by Proos are available at