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New Arizona law requires health insurers, Medicaid to pay for cancer biomarker tests

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation requiring health insurers and the state’s Medicaid plan to pay for biomarker tests needed for many cancer treatments.

Measuring the presence of certain biomarkers such as gene mutations allows doctors to better target certain cancers and can lead to fewer side effects and better quality of life and survival rates.

The American Cancer Society says biomarker testing is a critical step in assessing precision treatments and applauded the new legislation. It was sponsored by Republican Rep. Reginal Cobb of Kingman and supported by the Mayo Clinic and Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Many major health insurance companies oppose the measure.