Cap on insulin costs takes effect, but for fewer than 1/3 of Kentuckians; Biden bill would cover them all but its fate is in doubt
Reps. Patti Minter and Danny Bentley saw Gov. Andy Beshear sign their insulin price limit bill into law last March. (Screenshot)
Jan. 1 was the effective date of a new Kentucky law that caps at $30 the cost of a 30-day supply of insulin. But it affects fewer than a third of Kentucky diabetics, so “advocates and others in the commonwealth’s diabetic community are pushing for lawmakers to do more to open access to a medication that thousands in the Bluegrass State need to survive,” reports Lucas Aulbach of the Louisville Courier Journal.
The law, passed last year, applies to people covered by group health-insurance plans, those regulated only by the state, plans on the Kynect exchange, and state employees. It does not apply to those who have health insurance through their employers; or through sources like Medicare or Tricare, which covers U.S. military-service members and veterans.
“The problem is that a state can’t pass a law that would affect anything that’s federally regulated, and most people have health insurance that’s federally regulated,” advocate Sarah Ferguson told Aulbach. Her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 14 more than 10 years ago.
More than half a million Kentuckians have diabetes, and Kentucky ranks seventh-highest in the U.S. for diabetes prevalence. more than one in four insulin-dependent people ration insulin due to cost, according to Angela Lautner, legislative lead for the Kentucky #insulin4all advocacy group.