Delaware Vote Tracker

House Bills 263 and 268 – Capping and Covering the Cost of Insulin

State Representative Dave Bentz’s House Bill 263 is an excellent bill that caps the outrageous cost of insulin medications to treat diabetes. House Bill 263 requires that individual, group, and State employee insurance plans in Delaware cap the amount an individual must pay in co-payments for insulin prescriptions at $100 a month.

Likewise, State Representative Kim Williams’ House Bill 268 would require insurance plans in Delaware provide coverage for epinephrine autoinjectors for those 18 years old or younger.

Both bills address the affordability of these drugs by requiring insurance plans to include at least one insulin medication on the lowest tier of the drug formulary developed and maintained by the insurance carrier. Drugs catalogued at this tier will typically cost less. 

In 2007, the cost for a set of two EpiPen auto-injectors was about $94. Today, the cost for an EpiPen kit (pair of two pens) is over $700.  The yearly cost of treating diabetes can thus exceed $6,000 a year.

Diabetes is a disease that affects nearly one in four adult Delawareans. In Delaware, the prevalence of diabetes has almost doubled, from 4.9 percent in 1991 to 11.5 percent in 2015. More than 85,000 adults in the state have diabetes, affecting 15.1 percent of African Americans and 11 percent of Non-Hispanic Caucasian adults, according to HealthyDelaware.org.

Representative Dave Bentz: “There’s no easy way to say this: There is no cure for diabetes. Patients can manage the disease for a better quality of life, but how can they do that if insulin prices continue to soar through the roof? Insulin is a vital medication, but its high cost often forces people to make risky choices, like skipping doses and rationing vials just to get by each day. These costs, which disproportionately impact those with less means, can be literally life-threatening. I’m proud that Delaware is taking a stand to limit the cost of insulin and make it more affordable to those that need the care.”

Senator Bryan Townsend: “So many of our neighbors are facing impossible decisions about health care costs. People with diabetes are among those losing out most. The cost of the insulin they need every day just to stay alive keeps rising, and there is no signal that the private sector is addressing this crisis. People’s dire need for a basic substance should not justify sky-high prices.”

Rep. Andria Bennett: “We should be ashamed that Delawareans — our neighbors and constituents — are having to decide whether to take their medication daily or pay for the clothes on their backs. We have to act to lower the cost of this critical, lifesaving medication. The fact that insulin costs a person thousands of dollars of a year shows us that we’ve lost sight of the true meaning of health care. Limiting the amount of money a person has to pay out of pocket for their medication substantially impacts their quality of life. This legislation builds upon our efforts to make medication more affordable and accessible, so that trips to the pharmacy are not rife with anxiety and worry.”

Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown: “Insurance companies are not doctors, and patients should not be forced to play Russian roulette with their health care just because an insurance company does not offer a lower cost medication. Delawareans deserve better access and pricing for their needed treatments. Managing diabetes takes an all-hands-on-deck approach, from preventive programming to access and affordability. We are taking aim at a major piece of this epidemic with this legislation, and hopefully lessening the burden that Delawareans will feel in their daily lives.”

HOUSE BILL 268 — Out of Committee 1/22/20

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS — K.Williams, Sokola, Walsh, Bennett, Ennis, Paradee, Baumbach, Bentz, Dorsey-Walker, Jaques, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Lynn, Matthews, Minor-Brown, Mitchell, Viola

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS — Delcollo, Cloutier, Ramone, M.Smith

YES VOTES — HOUSE — /// SENATE —

NO VOTES — HOUSE — /// SENATE —

ABSENT —

NOT VOTING — 

HOUSE BILL 263 — Out of Committee 1/15/20

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS — Bentz, Townsend, Brown, Bennett, Dorsey Walker, Minor-Brown, Lockman, McDowell, Paradee, Sokola, Sturgeon, Walsh, Baumbach, Bolden, Brady, Cooke, Heffernan, Jaques, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Mitchell, Osienski, VIola, K.William

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS — Lopez

YES VOTES — HOUSE — /// SENATE —

NO VOTES — HOUSE — /// SENATE —

ABSENT —

NOT VOTING — 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “House Bills 263 and 268 – Capping and Covering the Cost of Insulin

  1. lol, did any medical peeps weigh in? Evil Walmart sells insulin for far less than what this bill calls for.

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