The Utah Legislature Passed HB207, Insulin Access Amendments, Ensuring $0 Deductible, Low-Copay Insulin for Utah Patients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 10, 2020
Stacy Stanford | (801) 718-6130
SALT LAKE -- The Utah State Senate just unanimously voted to pass HB207, Representative Norm Thurston's Insulin Access Amendments bill. This was the final vote of approval on revolutionary legislation, championed by patient advocates, that would dramatically improve the ability of insulin-dependent patients with diabetes to access their lifesaving medication and testing supplies. HB207 reduces cost and adds flexibility for patients in many ways, going beyond a strict copay cap.
Key components of the bill include:
- A requirement that insurance companies waive the deductible for insulin, and offer the drug on the lowest-cost copay tier. If the insurer does not comply, then they face a cap of $30 per prescription per month.
- Bulk purchasing of insulin through the state's Public Employee Health Plan (PEHP), with the PEHP discounted price available to uninsured, self-insured, and other patients who are not covered by insurers subject to the out-of-pocket cost restrictions listed above.
- Pharmacy counter flexibility to address other insulin access barriers. Including the ability for pharmacists to refill exhausted prescriptions and offer alternatives for patients if their exact brand of insulin or testing supply is not available or not covered.
Under HB207, Utah's $30 cap is one of the lowest in the United States. This, combined with the other important patient protections in this bill, makes Utah a leading example of good consumer-centered insulin policy.
"It is clear that high drug costs are unsustainable for Utahns. This is especially evident with insulin, where rationing has dire consequences," said Stacy Stanford, Health Policy Analyst with Utah Health Policy Project. "We have lost too many of our neighbors after they were forced to choose between rent or medicine, and this legislation is going to save lives. It is promising to see Utah lawmakers begin to recognize and address the issue, and we hope to see more action on health care affordability next session."
Relevant data from Altarum on health care affordability in Utah:
29% of Utahns report skipping doses, cutting pills in half, or otherwise rationing their Medication
54% of Utahns report worrying about affording their prescriptions drugs
60% of Utahns experienced health care affordability burdens in the past year
85% of Utahns are worried about affording health care in the future