SALT LAKE CITY — Cancer patients may now have additional options for treatment, as far as insurance coverage goes.

The Utah House of Representatives voted Tuesday to approve SB189, which asks insurance companies to treat oral chemotherapy the same as intravenous chemotherapy when determining cost sharing rates for members.

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The availability of oral chemotherapy has been increasing with advances in medical development. For some patients it is a better option, as it can deliver fewer side effects and requires less travel to a medical facility for administration.

Drugs covered under the bill include only those that have achieved approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are prescribed by a physician, who must supervise their use.

If the governor approves the bill, which has now passed both bodies of the Legislature, Utah will join more than 20 states that have enacted anti-cancer medication parity laws. Congress also considered the issue in 2011, but legislation there is awaiting further action.

Wendy Leonard

Twitter: wendyleonards