Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has agreed to cover bone marrow transplants for women with ovarian cancer and for breast cancer patients whose tumors have the potential to be aggressive. The decision ends years of lawsuits against the insurer about coverage for the therapy, which can run as much as $120,000 per treatment.
While bone marrow transplants have become more common, their expense has touched off controversy about their use while long-term follow-up studies are completed. Cancer patients have driven demand, contending that their illnesses don't give them the luxury of waiting for research results.
The coverage applies only to transplants done at federally-designated cancer centers.