Two pieces of legislation will strengthen access to healthcare for cancer patients in Illinois.
Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed legislation to prevent insurance companies from dropping a cancer patient for participating in clinical trials.
Under House Bill 1191, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2012, patients who qualify for clinical cancer trials can take part in them without health care providers denying coverage for related medical costs.
Many patients aren't able to participate because their providers won't cover routine care during the duration of the trial, Quinn said. That has led to fewer low-income and minority women participating in the studies.
“Access to quality health care is a basic right, and Illinoisans – particularly those who are fighting cancer – should not be denied coverage for participating in trials that might save their lives,” Quinn said in a statement.
Another bill signed Monday extends the “Ticket for the Cure” lottery scratch-off game to give grants to nonprofits that support breast cancer research by five years.
The program was set to be discontinued this year.