Crisco hails signing of bone marrow bill

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HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge) praised a new initiative on bone marrow compatibility signed into law by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Crisco, who chairs the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, attended a formal signing ceremony at the Capitol Friday in which Malloy signed Public Act 11-88. Crisco said in a news release the new law ushers in a new age of possibility for those who suffer from certain life-threatening conditions.

The new law requires health insurance coverage of compatibility testing for potential bone marrow donors according to the release. Crisco said marrow transplants give some patients the best chance to recover from blood disorders and blood cancers like leukemia.

“In our continuing effort to provide for the comprehensive healthcare needs of Connecticut residents, Gov. Malloy signed into law the initiative from my Insurance Committee that we hope will provide encouragement and incentive for those who would be bone marrow donors,” Crisco said in the release. “In my opinion, families coping with life-threatening disease, for which marrow transplants are viable, if long-odds options, ought to have financial support in the effort to find a compatible donor.”

Specifics of the new law may limit coverage under certain health insurance policies to one test in a person’s lifetime and prohibit insurers from imposing a coinsurance, copayment, deductible, or other out-of-pocket expense for testing that exceeds 20 percent of the cost for testing per year.

“Only three in 10 patients have a suitable marrow donor in their family so about 70 percent of these patients rely upon the kindness of a compatible stranger—this new law is meant to expand the registry of willing donors,” Crisco said in the release.

Crisco plans to organize a bone marrow testing and registration drive at the Capitol and other state facilities.