Knox County Commission votes to support bill requiring coverage

Knox County Commission votes to support bill requiring coverage for proton therapy

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Knox County Commissioner Jeff Ownby sponsored the resolution Monday saying he's been contacted by several people concerned about the financial burden for cancer patients lacking the coverage. Knox County Commissioner Jeff Ownby sponsored the resolution Monday saying he's been contacted by several people concerned about the financial burden for cancer patients lacking the coverage.
"Other states like Georgia Florida and Kentucky, their insurances cover this but ours doesn't and I wanted to bring it forward to send a message to our representatives in Nashville to say, ‘Hey this is something that we need,'" Ownby said. "Other states like Georgia Florida and Kentucky, their insurances cover this but ours doesn't and I wanted to bring it forward to send a message to our representatives in Nashville to say, ‘Hey this is something that we need,'" Ownby said.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Commissioners voted in favor of a resolution supporting an amendment to two bills in the state legislature which would require health insurance to cover proton therapy.

SB 435 and HB 264 include an amendment that would require the majority of individual and group health insurance policies to provide coverage for proton therapy.

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy for certain types of cancer.

The Provision Center for Proton Therapy in Knoxville is the first of its kind in Tennessee.

"We are really encouraged that local government is getting behind this," Provision Vice President Bill Hanson said. "We are pleased that Knox County has stepped up to make it visible to the public and to legislators that this is a serious issue."

Rep. Ryan Haynes (R-Knoxville) sponsored the amendment in the House, which writes that Tennessee ranks in the top five states for cancer deaths.

The amendment says that the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency has recognized the clinical need and benefit for proton therapy.

Knox County Commissioner Jeff Ownby sponsored the resolution Monday saying he's been contacted by several people concerned about the financial burden for cancer patients lacking the coverage.

"Other states like Georgia Florida and Kentucky, their insurances cover this but ours doesn't and I wanted to bring it forward to send a message to our representatives in Nashville to say, ‘Hey this is something that we need,'" Ownby said.

The amendment writes that Medicare currently covers proton therapy.

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