UTAH LEGISLATURE — The Utah Legislature on Tuesday voted by a large majority to pass House Bill 207 – Insulin Access and Amendments. The bill had bi-partisan support and will be sent to the desk of Utah Governor Gary Herbert. HB 207 is sponsored by Rep. Norm Thurston and numerous co-sponsors with input from the Utah Chapter of T1 International, a non-profit organization run by people impacted by type 1 diabetes.
The bill provides a multi-pronged approach that makes insulin more affordable and accessible. It requires that health plans cover insulin with no deductible in the lowest co-pay tier, which means that it could be 100 percent covered. If a plan elects to not comply, then this law would create a co-pay cap of $30 per month per prescription.
If insurance companies comply, it does give them the ability to structure their benefit plans as they see fit, as long as it still accomplishes the goal of making insulin affordable. According to a press release from T1 International, this would ensure that there is some transfer of power back into the hands of the health plan and the consumer.
The cost of insulin is currently exorbitant, with retail prices of insulin analogs around $350 per vial. Many patients use two to four vials per month. Since not everyone can afford such steep prices, one in four individuals turn to rationing their insulin which can lead to serious and often deadly complications of Type 1 diabetes.
In the press release about the bill passing, Mindie Hooley, T1 International Utah #insulin4all Chapter Leader said, “My Utah #insulin4all Chapter will not sit here quietly and watch the price of insulin kill our loved ones. I don’t want to hear anymore stories about deaths or about people rationing insulin or about the sacrifices people are having to make to keep their children alive. It’s my mission to make a change. HB 207 needed to be passed because lives literally depend on this bill.”
Questions about T1International’s Utah #insulin4all can be directed to Chapter Leader Mindie Hooley by phone at (209)642-3635 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org