Senate passes DiMario bill prohibiting insurers from charging copays for COVID treatments
STATE HOUSE — The Senate today passed legislation introduced by Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) that would prohibit health insurance companies from charging copays for COVID-related treatments.
The bill (2021-S 0877A) would prohibit insurance carriers from charging any out-of-pocket expenses to the insured for treatment related to the COVID-19 pandemic while the state of emergency order is in effect.
“Out-of-pocket expenses can be a huge financial barrier for many when it comes to seeking medical treatment,” said Senator DiMario. “We want to remove as many barriers as possible for people who are trying to access testing, vaccination and treatment. From a public health perspective, we need to continue to have a collective response to this pandemic in terms of the health of our communities.”
The legislation would also mandate that all COVID-19 testing or vaccination is free during and upon the expiration of the state of emergency order.
“We want to be ready for any variants and prevent any further outbreaks before they happen,” said Senator DiMario. “We also have large segments of our population, particularly children, who haven’t been vaccinated yet; and we could conceivably reach a point where the state of emergency is over before many of our children are eligible for the vaccine. By including that provision, we can ensure that there will be no cost-sharing for the vaccine after the state of emergency ends.”
The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2021-H 6208) has been introduced by Rep. David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence).
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