- Published: Friday, July 30, 2021 03:36 PM
SPRINGFIELD - Biomarker testing — the medical technology used to determine medical risk factors like cancer — will be covered under state-regulated insurance plans, thanks to a measure sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) that was signed into law today.
“Patients looking to find answers about their health issues will now be able to without worrying about the costs,” Munoz said. “State-regulated insurance plans will cover biomarker testing, which helps figure out the right treatment at the right time to improve the quality of life for patients.”
A “biomarker” is a sign of disease or abnormal function that can be measured in blood, tissue or bodily fluid. In cancer care, biomarkers are often used to help determine the best treatment for a patient. Biomarker testing analyzes a patient’s tissue, blood or other biospecimen for the presence of a biomarker.
Insurance coverage for biomarker testing is limited and disparate, a fact Munoz said leads to inequities in care for cancer patients.
The new law requires group and individual accident and health insurance policies and managed care plans to include coverage for biomarker testing for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment.
“Communities of color and people with lower income face inequalities in our health care services,” Munoz said. “This gives all patients, no matter their income, access to these medical advancements.”
The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.