House Passes Legislation to Cap Cost of Insulin

Mike Seals - March 10, 2021 6:26 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved Tuesday evening a bill that would cap the cost of insulin for many Oklahomans with Type 1 diabetes.

House Bill 1019, authored by Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, would cap the amount of copayment an individual would be required to pay at $90 for a 90-day supply. Currently, an individual’s copay is based on their own insurance plan.

“Access to affordable insulin for Oklahomans for Type 1 diabetes is not just better for their bank account – it saves lives,” Worthen said. “No Oklahoman should be forced to ration their insulin supply because they can’t afford the outrageous price that insulin has skyrocketed to in recent years. I am grateful to my colleagues in the House for working with me to develop and pass this bill.”

The bill also requires the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner to enforce compliance of the cap on copayments and gives the commissioner authority to promulgate rules as necessary.

Type 1 diabetes is caused when a person’s body does not produce enough insulin, resulting in high levels of blood sugar or glucose. This puts them at risk of serious health complications, including kidney failure and stroke. There is no known way to prevent or cure Type 1 diabetes.

In Oklahoma, approximately 14.3% of the adult population have some form of diabetes, of which 5% have Type 1 diabetes and require insulin. According to the American Diabetes Association, Oklahomans with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes.

HB1019 passed the floor 94-2 and is now eligible to be considered in the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer.

 

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