Senate approves Murray bill limiting copays
for diabetes supplies


STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Melissa A. Murray to limit insured patients’ copays for equipment and supplies used to treat diabetes to $25 for 30-day supply, or per item for items intended to last longer than 30 days.

The legislation comes a year after the enactment of a law – also sponsored by Senator Murray — to cap insulin copays at $40 a month.

“Diabetes is a life-threatening disease that unfortunately affects many people, including older or disabled people who are among those least able to afford the expenses involved in treating it. The result is that many people ration or try to do without testing or treatment to save money, with grave risk to their health and safety. Insurance should be keeping their costs reasonable to encourage proper treatment, which is obviously much safer as well as being more cost-effective in the long run,” said Senator Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield).

The legislation (2022-S 2696A) would apply to private insurers, health maintenance organizations, nonprofit hospital service or medical service corporations and the state employee health insurance plans. Under the bill, beginning Jan. 1 (or, for state employees, the next time the health plan contract is purchased or renewed by the state), copays for equipment and supplies for insulin administration and glucose monitoring shall be capped at $25 for a 30-day supply, or per item when an item is intended to be used for longer than 30 days. That coverage shall not be subject to any annual deductible. If the application of the cap to a specific item of equipment or supply before a covered person has met their plan’s deductible would result in health saving account ineligibility, then the cap would only apply to that specific item of equipment or supply after the covered person has met their plan’s deductible.

The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, is cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey, Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown), Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence), Sen. Samuel W. Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), Sen. Bridget G. Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett, South Kingstown), Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown), Sen. Jonathon Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) and Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland).

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where House Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Dist. 38, Hopkinton, Westerly) is sponsoring a companion bill (2022-H 8158).