Thursday, April 22, 2021

Gov. Stitt signs bill capping copay cost of insulin


Governor Signs Bill Capping Copay Cost of Insulin for Oklahomans with Diabetes

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation helping Oklahomans with diabetes better afford insulin has become law after being signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday, April 20.

House Bill 1019 caps the copay for a 30-day supply of insulin to $30 and $90 for a 90-day supply for each covered prescription. Copays are currently based on individual insurance plans. HB 1019 gives authority to the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner to enforce the price cap.

Bill author Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, thanked the governor for his support.

“Since introducing House Bill 1019, I’ve heard from many Oklahomans across the state who can hardly afford to pay the rising cost of insulin while also juggling their other bills,” Worthen said. “This bill will save lives by making insulin affordable for those who need it. Nobody should be forced to choose between paying their rent and paying for their life-saving medication.”

The bill was carried in the Senate by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, who has been a tireless advocate for Oklahoma’s diabetic community after losing his granddaughter to complications related to Type 1 diabetes.

“Diabetes affects more than 450,000 Oklahomans, and nearly half of those have Type 1 diabetes and are dependent on insulin,” Simpson said. “For many diabetics, having access to affordable insulin can literally mean the difference between life and death, avoiding amputations, blindness or other serious medical problems. Ever-increasing prices, however, are forcing many to ration or skip their insulin to pay for groceries and utilities, which is very dangerous. This bill is a step in the right direction in making insulin more affordable and helping improve the quality of life for Oklahoma’s diabetics.”

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more than 450,000 Oklahoma adults suffer from diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Oklahoma, giving the state the fourth highest age-adjusted diabetes death rate in the nation. Diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and early death—all of which is preventable with proper management.

HB1019 goes into effect Nov. 1, 2021.

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