Senate approves Murray bill limiting copays for diabetes supplies, equipment

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STATE HOUSE – The Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Melissa Murray to limit insured patients’ copays for supplies and equipment used to treat diabetes to $25 for a 30-day supply.

Like the 2021 state law – also sponsored by Murray, a Democrat representing District 24 in Woonsocket and North Smithfield — that capped insulin copays at $40 a month, the legislation – 2024-S 2082 – would apply to private insurers, health maintenance organizations, nonprofit hospital service or medical service corporations and the state employee health insurance plans that cover such supplies. Under the bill, beginning Jan. 1 or, for state employees, the next time the health plan contract is purchased or renewed by the state, copays for insulin administration and glucose monitoring supplies shall be capped at $25 for a 30-day supply, or per item when an item is intended to be used for longer than 30 days.

“Monitoring glucose and administering insulin are absolutely necessary for people living with diabetes,” said Murray. “While the skyrocketing cost of insulin in recent years has been an important issue that has captured national attention, that is not the only cost that burdens those with diabetes. Supplies like testing strips, blood sugar meters, and insulin pumps and other items that are crucial for diabetes maintenance can add up and become cost prohibitive for people who desperately need them. When patients can’t afford the equipment for preventative maintenance, they have no choice but to go without, sometimes with fatal consequences.”

If passed by the House the bill would take effect Jan. 1. It is cosponsored by Sens. Pamela Lauria; Bridget Valverde; Alana DiMario; Dawn Euer; Samuel Bell; Joshua Miller and Jacob Bissaillon.

The bill, which the Senate also approved last year, now goes to the House of Representatives, where House Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy is sponsoring companion bill 2024-H 7364.

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