munoz 051321SPRINGFIELD – Biomarker testing — the medical technology used to determine medical risk factors like cancer — would be required coverage under state-regulated insurance plans under a measure sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony (D-Chicago), which was approved by the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday.

“Many communities of color and people with lower income are less likely to have insurance plans that offer biomarker testing,” Munoz said. “We need to ensure that these medical advancements are not just for the rich and privileged. Everyone should be able to benefit from this technology.”

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 currently limited and disparate, a fact Munoz said leads to inequities in care for cancer patients.

House Bill 1779 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.

“This legislation is going to lead to better health outcomes, an improved quality of life, and lower costs for the patients who most need this kind of care,” Munoz said. “It’s key to reducing health disparities for all patients, especially for lower income people.”

House Bill 1779 passed the Senate Insurance Committee and now heads to the Senate floor for further consideration.