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Bill To Require Insurers To Cover HPV Vaccine

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Aired 9/14/09

The state legislature has approved a bill that would require insurers that cover cervical cancer treatments to also pay for a vaccine designed to prevent the disease.

— The state legislature has approved a bill that would require insurers that cover cervical cancer treatments and to also pay for a vaccine designed to prevent the disease.

The HPV vaccine is effective in preventing types of human papillomavirus that cause the majority of cervical cancer. It's recommended for young girls and women ages nine to 26.

Some insurance plans in California don't cover the vaccine. Insurance companies argue the bill requiring coverage would increase costs for everyone.

Dr. Stuart Cohen is a pediatrician in East County.

"Having a seatbelt in your car drives up the cost of the car, but it's proven to be very invaluable in saving lives, and I think we need to prioritize what we want to spend our money on," Dr. Cohen said.

Cohen says a larger issue is that most insurance plans don't cover routine vaccinations for adults.

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