Assemblymember Hunter’s Biomarker Bill Signed by Governor Hochul

Today, Governor Hochul signed Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter's biomarker legislation into law (A1673). The bill would require every state-regulated insurance plan, including Medicaid, to provide coverage for biomarker testing.

"In cancer care, a biomarker test analyzes the genes and proteins of a patient to determine if the cancer is more likely to grow and what treatments would be the most helpful,” said Assemblymember Hunter. “These tests are essential in accessing targeted therapies that can improve survivorship and better a cancer patient's quality of life. Patients with other illnesses can also benefit from biomarker tests so we are sure to see more targeted treatments across the healthcare space.”

In a survey of over 300 oncology providers, 66% stated that insurance coverage is a barrier for their patients to receive a biomarker test. The survey also found that patients who are older, African American, uninsured, Medicaid-insured, and/or live-in rural communities are less likely to have access to biomarker testing. 

Before being signed into law, the 15 million New Yorkers with state-regulated insurance or Medicaid did not have access to biomarker testing.

“It is extremely rare for a piece of legislation to increase access to groundbreaking testing and to have the potential to save countless lives. I applaud Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law,” said Hunter.

The biomarker legislation received overwhelming bicameral support and has been endorsed by more than 50 groups, including the American Nurses Association of New York, the American Lung Association, and the University of Rochester.