House bill requires insurance coverage of biomarker tests

DES MOINES — The Iowa House has passed a bill that would require health insurance plans to cover biomarker testing that can help doctors more effectively treat medical conditions.

Republican Representative Brian Lohse of Bondurant says biomarker testing lets doctors avoid unnecessary and invasive tests and ineffective treatments. “Such testing has proven itself vital in improving patient care when they have been diagnosed with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, preeclampsia and many more,” Lohse says. “In doing so, patients benefit from more effective care.”

Lohse says it also reduces costs.  “A study sponsored by CVS revealed that patients who underwent a proven, broad panel biomarket testing saved an average of $8500 per person per month, based on a single test that could only average between $1500 and $5000,” Lohse says. “That’s god for Iowa. That’s good for Iowans.”

Democratic Representative Megan Srinivas of Des Moines, who is also a physician, agrees. “This is a crucial bill that can really truly save lives here in Iowa,” Srinivas said. “It’ll save lives without actually costing any extra money which is also the beauty of this, so it’s a win win win all around.”

Republican Representative David Young of Van Meter also worked on the legislation. “I think this bill here, getting it through the finish line, can be very, very consequential in terms of outcomes for Iowans and their health,” Young said. “…Detecting these things early can really go a long way.”

The bill passed the House on a vote of 96 to one. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.