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Senate OKs bill to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for some

March 5, 2021 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate passed a bill Friday aimed at delivering financial relief for many Kentuckians by capping their out-of-pocket costs for insulin.

The bill is potentially one step away from clearing the General Assembly after winning Senate backing on a 35-0 vote. The measure returns to the House, which could send it to Gov. Andy Beshear if representatives accept the Senate’s changes to the bill.

The proposal has won bipartisan support in a state plagued by high diabetes rates.

For some Kentuckians, their out-of-pocket costs would be capped at $35 per prescription for a 30-day insulin supply if the measure becomes law. The cap would apply to state-regulated, comprehensive, private health insurance plans and the Kentucky employee health plan. It would not apply to Medicare, Medicaid or self-funded health plans.

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Republican Sen. Phillip Wheeler on Friday called it a good bill but said it “only starts the conversation” since it only affects Kentuckians on certain health plans.

“This conversation does need to continue, but this is an important first step,” he said.

The original bill had a $30 cost-sharing cap, but the amount was adjusted by a Senate committee to $35, putting it in line with out-of-pocket insulin costs for Medicare recipients.

Insulin is used to keep people’s blood sugar at safe levels.

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The legislation is House Bill 95.