With employer costs continuing to rise, the Senate Insurance Committee heard MMA’s opposition testimony on legislation which would mandate cost parity for chemotherapy treatments and limit copays to $100.
While well-intentioned, Senate Bill 492 would interfere with private contracts and increase the cost of employer-sponsored health care, while doing nothing to address the high cost of these drugs.
“This legislation simply shifts the cost of these drugs to the premium that the purchaser pays, whether it’s a business or an individual,” said Delaney McKinley, MMA senior director of government affairs and membership, during her committee testimony. “Regarding both access and affordability, Michiganders already have guaranteed access to both oral and intravenous chemotherapy drugs while federal law sets forth requirements to ensure that these treatments are affordable for patients.”
McKinley’s testimony also pointed out that under the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the amount that a patient pays for their treatment is limited by a combined out-of-pocket maximum for pharmacy and medical benefits. The maximum out-of-pocket limit for any plan for 2017 is $7,150 for an individual plan and $14,300 for a family plan. Additionally, many individuals will qualify for further reductions in out-of-pocket costs based on income or be eligible for prescription assistance programs.
The Senate Insurance Committee passed the legislation over MMA objections. SB 492 is expected to pass the full Senate this week. MMA will continue to oppose passage of this costly, uncompetitive legislation.
This article was published in the 10/17/17 edition of MFG Voice.