Illinois insurance agencies are now forbidden to deny health coverage to insured people participating in clinical cancer trials because of a new amendment to the state's Insurance Code.
Previously, companies could cancel an insured patient's medical coverage while that person receives experimental treatment despite being qualified.
Illinois State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) sponsored the measure.
"People were often faced with do they lose their insurance all together, or do they take part in a clinical trial that could save their lives," said Harris.
Harris said under the new law, the trial costs will be divided between the insurance company and the drug company running it.
The amendment passed both the House and Senate unanimously in 2011. It goes into effect on Jan. 1.