DeCroce’s bill capping some out-of-pocket prescription costs clears insurance panel

Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce

PARSIPPANY — Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce reducing out-of-pocket costs for some prescription drug coverage holders was approved by the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee by an 11-0-2 vote. The bill (A2431) caps a covered patient’s share of the price of medications.

“Easing the out-of-pocket burden for insured patients can result in reduced healthcare costs in the long run,” said DeCroce (R-Morris). “Many people with high cost-sharing plans don’t take vital medications prescribed by their doctors because they can’t afford their co-pays. The result is poor health outcomes and increased long term costs for chronically ill patients. Capping out-of-pocket payments benefits both patients and insurers.”

Delaware, Maryland, Louisiana, California and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation. Maine and Vermont have limits on the annual out-of-pocket costs to consumers, and Virginia and five other states require insurance companies to provide notice to consumers of cost-sharing tiers and all changes to the plans.

The provisions of the measure apply to the state’s individual and small employer plans, the State health benefits program and the school employees’ health benefits program.