The state Assembly's Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee unanimously approved a bill that caps out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs for members of the state's individual and small employer plans, health benefits program and school employees' health benefits program.
The bill, Assembly Bill 2431, introduced by Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, R-26th District, in February, would also require insurance companies to provide notice to consumers of cost-sharing tiers and all changes to the plans. It will go to a full Assembly floor vote sometime this year. The state Senate is also contemplating their own, identical version of the bill, Senate Bill 1865.
DeCroce noted in a statement that Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Louisiana, California and the District of Columbia have all passed similar legislation.
“Easing the out-of-pocket burden for insured patients can result in reduced health care costs in the long run,” she said. “Many people with high cost-sharing plans don’t take vital medications prescribed by their doctors because they can’t afford their co-pays. The result is poor health outcomes and increased long-term costs for chronically ill patients. Capping out-of-pocket payments benefits both patients and insurers.”