TRENTON, NJ - A bill sponsored by Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Legislative District 21, prohibiting insurance companies from requiring pre-approvals for medical tests, treatments and prescriptions for cancer patients will be discussed in committee Thursday.

“Over the last decade patient healthcare has been taken away from doctors and put in the hands of insurance companies. That is absolutely shocking,” said Bramnick. “The pre-approval process is obstructionist policy that needs to end.”

Bramnick’s bill (A4724) bans insurance carriers, third party administrators and pharmacy benefits managers from using pre-approvals to prevent cancer patients from getting testing, care or pharmaceuticals.

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At an October 2018 press conference on the topic, Bramnick introduced a woman with Stage 4 cancer who had to wait more than a year to get pre-approval for an MRI.

“A cancer diagnosis is difficult enough,” concluded Bramnick. “People should not have to go through hoops to get the care they need.”

An American Medical Association survey of 1,000 doctors in 2016 showed that, on average, 20 percent of patients waited five days for pre-approval decisions from carriers and 6 percent waited even longer.

Following the Jan. 17 discussion, Bramnick said he hopes the Assembly Health Committee will post his bill for a vote.