Update from March 16, 2021:
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky lawmakers voted to cap out-of-pocket costs for some people relying on insulin. The Senate voted Tuesday to send the legislation to Gov. Andy Beshear.
The proposal won bipartisan support in a state plagued by high diabetes rates. Its lead sponsors are Republican Rep. Danny Bentley and Democratic Rep. Patti Minter.
Under the bill, out-of-pocket costs for some Kentuckians would be capped at $30 per prescription for a 30-day insulin supply.
The cap applies to state-regulated, comprehensive, private health insurance plans and the Kentucky employee health plan. It would not apply to Medicare, Medicaid or self-funded health plans.
Original story from March 5, 2021 below:
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Senate voted 35-0 Friday to cap insulin copays for some Kentuckians with state-regulated insurance plans to $35 per 30-day supply.
“It makes insulin much more affordable for Kentuckians,” Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, said of the measure, known as House Bill 95.
Sen. Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, said HB 95 was good legislation but expressed concern it only covered a certain group of people in certain types of plans.
Those would include Kentuckians who purchased their plans on the health insurance marketplace, work for an employer who is not self funded or is on a state employee plan, according to prior testimony on the bill.
“I think this conversation needs to continue, but this is an important first step,” Wheeler said. “I proudly support this legislation.”
Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, said diabetics in need of prescription insulin drugs were being gouged.
“This is one of the best things we could have done this year for those who have this need for insulin,” Buford said of HB 95. “It is very important when these copays have gotten up to $100, $200. It is ridiculous.”
Carpenter said that’s why HB 95 was amended in the Senate to contain an emergency clause. Bills with these clauses become effective immediately if they are passed into law rather than 90 days after adjournment of the General Assembly.
“We don’t want Kentuckians to have to wait,” Carpenter said of the relief HB 95 is designed to provide.
The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration of the emergency clause and other changes made in the Senate.