Assemblymember Hunter’s Bill to Improve Health Insurance Coverage Passes Assembly

January 22, 2018

Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse) announced that the Assembly passed a bill she authored to expand health insurance coverage for concurrent symptoms and side effects without additional prior authorization (A.1129).

“Doctors shouldn’t be forced to wait for a separate authorization form to perform a necessary procedure if a complication arises during surgery, and patients shouldn’t be at the mercy of their insurance companies when they need something like chemo-induced nausea treated,” said Hunter. “This bill helps ensure that New Yorkers receive the treatments and medications they need when they need them rather than when the insurance company gets around to authorizing it.”

The bill guarantees that any complementary medical procedures related to previous treatments or procedures, such as nausea caused by chemotherapy, are covered without prior authorization. This legislation expands on the current statute which ensures that surgical or invasive procedures don’t require prior authorization. The measure also establishes guidelines for appealing denied claims.

While most insurers currently cover the concurrent procedures, some have denied reimbursement after the necessary procedure is performed. Requiring reimbursement for treatment stemming from authorized care will put an end to this exploitative, shameful practice, Hunter noted.

This is the third year Hunter has sponsored this legislation in the Assembly and is urging the state Senate to take it up and pass it to protect patients.