egislation addressing step therapy in WI is expected to move to a vote as early as this April.
The legislation, co-sponsored by
Rep. John Nygren and Sen. Alberta Darling, would simplify the appeals process for patients when insurance companies deny coverage for doctor-prescribed therapies until less expensive therapies are tried first.
This legislation would affect not only cancer patients, but many Wisconsinites being treated for a host of chronic diseases.
If passed, "the legislation
would not ban step therapy," said Policy Committee Chairperson HJ Waukau. "Instead, it creates guidelines for the appeals process."
The legislation has been introduced in both the senate and the assembly as
and has been referred to the health committees in each chamber. Currently there are 56 co-sponsors.
Patient advocate groups, c
ollectively known as the
Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition
, have been working closely with Nygren and Darling.
While the health insurance industry has had the opportunity to offer changes, advocates expect to see a final
bill that is patient-focused.
Legislators hope the bills will arrive in committee already negotiated and that no amendments would be introduced. The bills could be on the floor as early as April.
Public hearings have not yet been scheduled. You can track the step therapy legislation by
signing up for email alerts
from the WI State Legislature.
>> The WI Cancer Council's Policy Committee will continue to closely monitor step therapy legislation and will keep you informed.