Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre Introduces Legislation to Cap Insulin Costs

Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon) announced that she introduced a bill that would create a cap on the price of prescription insulin (A.8103).

“New Yorkers should be able to look out for their health without facing overwhelming financial burdens,” Jean-Pierre said. “Yet for people with diabetes, the rising cost of insulin has forced them to make unfair sacrifices and put their own lives at risk. This bill will provide the relief they desperately need and ensure they can afford this crucial treatment.”

The legislation would require any health insurance carrier that provides coverage for prescription insulin drugs to cap the total cost a covered person is required to pay for the drug at $100 per 30-day supply of insulin. The measure would ensure this coverage regardless of the amount or type of insulin needed to fill the prescription. New York would become the second state in the country to enact an insulin price cap; last month, Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) signed a bill into law which also caps co-pays associated with insulin to $100 per month.[1]

According to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers have diabetes.[2] With the help of insulin therapy, children and adults can manage this condition and live long, healthy lives. However, as the percentage of New Yorkers with diabetes grows,[3] health care costs continue to skyrocket, making it more difficult for diabetics to get the lifesaving insulin they need, Jean-Pierre noted. The DOH estimates that in New York State, diabetes accounts for $12 billion each year in direct medical costs and lost productivity for all payers, including Medicaid.[4] According to a study by Yale University, the cost of insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, causing a quarter of patients to cut back on their insulin intake.[5] This can be deadly for those who rely on insulin to stay alive, which is why this legislation to ensure New Yorkers can afford treatment is so vital, Jean-Pierre noted.



[3] Ibid.