HARTFORD-State Rep. Janice R, Giegler today voted in favor of legislation that will require health insurance policies to provide coverage for bone marrow testing.
“Bone marrow transplant is a very effective treatment for more than 70 life threatening diseases, including Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Leukemia and other cancers. But in order for a bone marrow transplant to happen, a simple blood test must first be done to find donors with the closest bone marrow match possible, so the patient has the best chance of successful transplant. Some patients never find an appropriate match, and die while waiting on the list for bone marrow transplant,” said Rep. Giegler.
There is an increasing number of people tested and added to the donor list each year — and thereby increasing the number of transplant matches found, as well as decreasing the amount of time patients are on the list before transplant — would reduce the cost of the medical treatment that would otherwise be covered by insurance as medically necessary in lieu of transplantation.
The bill would ensure that bone marrow testing is performed in safe, accredited facilities, and that all results are shared in a secure, national database.
According to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), one of the most significant barriers in adding to the registry is the cost of testing for potential donors. On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women and children are searching the NMDP Registry for a matching bone marrow donor. These are patients whose only hope for a cure may be a transplant. The program’s goal is to meet the access needs of virtually all Americans searching for a donor for transplantation, regardless of their racial or ethnic heritage.
Since its inception in 1987, NMDP has provided transplants for more than 30,000 cancer patients. In passing this law, Connecticut could join several states (Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire and Rhode Island) that require this insurance.” She also stated that the proposed law would encourage more donors to join the NMDP Registry increasing the likelihood that more patients will find the match they need.