Walter Bianco, an Arizona man living with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), will have access to new drugs to cure his infection, now that a battle between his health insurance provider and federal Medicare officials has come to an end, NPR reports.

Bianco, whose liver has been severely damaged by the disease, was initially denied a 12-week course of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) after WellCare, a private insurer that contracts with the federal program, refused to cover the drug.

Hepatitis treatment advocates hope Medicare’s reversal will set a precedent for patients trying to use expensive, next-generation treatments through their health insurance plans. The new drugs can cost between $66,000 and $84,000 for a cure, which insurers argue could create a huge cost burden for the industry if coverage is made mandatory.

However, the new meds are far more effective and boast fewer side effects than previous treatments, and drug companies defend the price, saying they could save the medical community far more on liver disease in the long run.

Medicare officials say they are still consulting with several health agencies to figure out how best to use the drugs and which patients should get them first. Until then, the agency will be deciding coverage on a case-by-case basis, much like the Bianco decision.

To read the full NPR article, click here.