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News: 2013 Press Release
For Release: October 9, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Oral anticancer medications become affordable under the Access to Cancer Treatment Act
Good value for patients of modest means
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones thanks Governor Brown for signing AB 219 into law and congratulates bill author Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno) for increasing price protection for oral cancer medications.
"California now joins the 26 other states that already enacted legislation to make oral anticancer medications more affordable," said Commissioner Jones. "This bill, which my department urged the Governor to sign, establishes limits that will result in substantial out-of-pocket savings for cancer patients and will prevent patients from abandoning necessary oral treatments for cancer."
AB 219 will take effect on January 1, 2015 and will apply to new, amended or renewed health insurance policies requiring insurers to limit patient costs to $200 for a 30-day supply of covered oral anticancer medication. Previously these treatments could cost $10,000 per month and a 30 percent co-insurance rate would only reduce out-of-pocket cost to $3,000 per month for a cancer patient. Healthcare plans and health insurers will be allowed to increase the $200 limit annually to reflect inflation.
"Patient protection continues to be a cornerstone of my department and I will continue to support legislation that helps Californians obtain necessary and affordable healthcare options," said Commissioner Jones.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.