Gov. Lynch Marks Signing of Law To Require Insurance Coverage for Bone Marrow Testing

For Immediate Release

June 8, 2006

Contact:

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

603-271-2121

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today ceremonially signed legislation that could encourage more people to become bone marrow donors.

The legislation, HB 1452, would require insurance companies to cover the cost of bone marrow testing.

"Bone marrow transplants save lives," Gov. Lynch said. "This legislation ensures that patients and their families across New Hampshire have the financial support they need when searching for a life-saving bone marrow donation."

Typically, insurance companies pay the cost of testing the immediate family members of a patient in need of a transplant. However, a family member is found to be a match in only about 30 percent of cases. Patients and their families can pay thousands of dollars to test others in hopes of finding an acceptable donor. Under the bill, insurance companies would now pick up the cost of testing those looking to make their marrow available to patients through a national registry.

The legislation was sponsored by Representatives Nancy Johnson, Cindy Rosenwald, Jane Langley, Marshall Lee Quandt, and Senators Joe Foster and Dave Gottesman.