Gov. Pat Quinn has given cancer patients one less worry in their fight to survive.
Quinn on Wednesday signed legislation to make treatment options more affordable for Illinois residents battling cancer.
The law requires insurance companies to provide coverage for both oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments at a similar cost.
Before, many insurance companies did not offer the same coverage for both types of treatment and patients would have to pay much higher costs for the oral treatment.
Oral chemotherapy treatments, which come in the form of liquids or capsules, are much less invasive than the intravenous treatments. In addition to the heightened comfort that they offer, some forms of cancer require the oral treatments over the intravenous treatment.
"Patients battling cancer shouldn't have to forgo potentially life-saving treatments because of costs," Quinn said in a statement. "This legislation will provide more affordable coverage options, so that patients can choose the best, most appropriate therapy to fight their cancer."
Oral chemotherapy treatments are also specified to target cancerous cells, whereas the intravenous treatment often harms many healthy cells in the process.
The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, makes Illinois one of 10 other states to provide the legal platform that ensures patients will receive equal coverage no matter what form of treatment their cancer requires.