BOSTON (AP) — Insurance companies that provide coverage for chemotherapy treatments will be required to provide the same level of coverage for chemotherapy pills under a bill signed by Gov. Deval Patrick.

Chemotherapy treatment that is infused at a clinic is paid as a medical benefit while pills have been covered under prescription drug plans.

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Stephen Brewer said the new law ends that practice which he said allows insurance companies to transfer treatment costs to the patient.

The Barre Democrat said oral cancer therapies are the future of cancer treatment and the new law will provide an additional level of comfort for patients.

Business groups had opposed the change, calling it a mandate that would add to insurance costs. Brewer said new law is a matter of keeping up with technology.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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