Munoz Advances Plan to Make Genetic Medical Testing Accessible

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Biomarker testing — the medical technology used to determine medical risk factors like cancer — would be covered under state-regulated insurance plans under a measure sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), which passed the Senate Tuesday. “Inequalities exist in our health care services, especially for communities of color and people with lower income,” Munoz said. “Everyone deserves the right to benefit from this testing that can lead to better health outcomes, and this is essential for our fight against inequalities in our health care services.” 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. House Bill 1779 passed the Senate with a vote of 58-0.

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