Critical Moment for Utahns With Chronic Illnesses: S.B. 184, the Legislation Needed to Stop Unfair Copay Accumulator Policies, Heads to the Business and Labor Committee
Ark Founder and CEO Rebecca Yates reported Friday from the Utah State Capitol that S.B. 184 – Prescription Cost Amendments, was assigned to the Business and Labor committee in the house. That means it’s crucial to reach out to your representative to ask them to please support this important legislation.
Under current law, insurance companies are permitted to use copay accumulator adjustment policies to exclude copay payments/assistance provided by non-profits and pharmaceutical companies, so that these payments do not count towards a patient’s deductible or out-of-pocket-maximum. This leads to skyrocketing medical bills, and in some cases, patients not being able to afford needed medication.
Yates added, “Trying to address the cost of pharmaceuticals by adding financial burdens to our disabled communities is not only illogical, but also immoral. If they want to fix the cost of care and medications, they need to do it directly, not by trying to recoup it on the backs of those already burdened with poor health.”
Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, is the chief sponsor of S.B. 184 – Prescription Cost Amendments, which would require an insurer to calculate any amounts paid on behalf of an individual towards the individual’s cost sharing requirement, and would require a pharmacy benefit manager to calculate any amounts paid on behalf of an individual towards the individual’s cost sharing requirement.
Unfortunately, the bill does have opponents who are lobbying against it. S.B. 184 will likely be voted on by Tuesday, 2/28, so it’s important to reach out now to one of the representatives on the Business and Labor Committee:
Rep. A. Cory Maloy (R), Chair (Lehi)
Rep. Stephen L. Whyte (R), Vice Chair (Mapleton)
Rep. Carl R. Albrecht (R) (Richfield)
Rep. Brady Brammer (R) (Pleasant Grove)
Rep. Walt Brooks (R) (St. George)
Rep. Jefferson S. Burton (R) (Spanish Fork)
Rep. James A. Dunnigan (R)
Rep. Jon Hawkins (R) (Pleasant Grove)
Rep. Brian S. King (D) (Salt Lake City)
Rep. Ashlee Matthews (D) (SLC)
Rep. Calvin R. Musselman (R) (West Haven)
Rep. Thomas W. Peterson (R) (Brigham City)
Rep. Mike Schultz (R) (Hooper)
Rep. Norman K Thurston (R) (Provo)
Rep. Ryan D. Wilcox (R) (North Ogden)
Below is an excellent op-ed authored by Jami Curtis that was included in Utah Policy today on this topic.