New Hampshire law caps monthly insulin copay at $30
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law an omnibus bill that will limit cost sharing for insulin to $30 for a 30-day supply for those with state-regulated commercial health insurance, according to a press release.
New Hampshire House Bill 1280, which takes effect Sept. 14, also includes a provision to import low-cost prescription drugs from Canada to New Hampshire, following similar state programs approved by Maine and Vermont. The legislation was supported by the American Diabetes Association.
“With 9% of Granite Staters living with diagnosed diabetes, and 7,000 more diagnosed every year, it is critical that elected officials address the needs of their citizens with diabetes,” Stephen Habbe, director for state government affairs for the ADA, said in the press release. “The ADA thanks Governor Chris Sununu, Senator Dan Feltes, Representative Garrett Muscatel and members of the legislature for passing this provision into law, and for their continued efforts to bring down the cost of insulin and help the more than 125,000 people in New Hampshire who live with diabetes thrive.”
In a statement, Feltes, who sponsored the bill, said that New Hampshire residents face the highest premiums, copays and deductibles in the nation, and the need to curb prescription drug prices has only increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
“For many, the situation is literally life or death,” Feltes said in the release. “No one should be forced to choose between their health and financial security. ... HB 1280 makes significant improvements, including an importation program of safe, low-cost prescription drugs from Canada, transparency and consumer protection, and the most progressive price cap on insulin in the nation.”
In a statement, the ADA called the co-pay cap a “step forward,” but noted more relief for people with diabetes is needed.
“To address the immediate needs of people with diabetes in New Hampshire during the current coronavirus pandemic, the ADA has urged Governor Sununu to eliminate all cost-sharing for insulin in state-regulated health insurance plans until the crisis passes,” the ADA stated in the release. “The ADA also urged Governor Sununu to ensure continuous access to health care for residents with diabetes who have lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the pandemic.”
New Hampshire joins a growing list of states that have moved to cap monthly out-of-pocket insulin expenses for people with diabetes. As Healio previously reported, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation in April that will provide a one-time, 30-day supply of insulin for eligible residents in urgent need for a $35 copay. In January, Illinois became the second state to cap insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply to make the drug more affordable for the state’s estimated 1.3 million adults with diabetes. In March, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation capping monthly copayments for insulin at $25, the lowest copay cap introduced at the state level.
Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado signed the first bill in the nation in May 2019 that capped insulin copays for people with private insurance at $100 per month, regardless of the number of vials needed.
According to 2017 data from the Health Care Cost Institute, insulin prices, which tripled from 2002 to 2013, continue to climb, nearly doubling between 2012 and 2016. For people with diabetes and employer-sponsored insurance, the average price for a 40-day supply of insulin rose from $344 to $666 during those same years, according to the report.