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Utah lawmakers approve bill capping insulin prices, send it to Governor

Health department data shows about one in four Utahns diagnosed with COVID-19 also has diabetes. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers have approved a bill that will ease the financial realities of hundreds of Utah insulin users.

H.B. 207 requires that health plans cover insulin with no deductible in the lowest co-pay tier. For some Utahns, that means their insulin would be fully covered.

In the case that a health insurance carrier does not comply, the bill creates a co-pay cap of $30 per month, per prescription.

H.B. 207 also allows diabetics to purchase insulin in bulk through Utah’s Public Employee Health Plan (PEHP). This option also makes the PEHP discounted price available to people who have no insurance, are self-insured, and others who are not covered by insurers.

According to the Utah Health Policy Project, Utah’s $30 cap is one of the lowest in the United States.

“We have lost too many of our neighbors after they were forced to choose between rent or medicine,” said Stacy Stanford, a policy analyst with Utah Health Policy Project, in a statement.

“This legislation is going to save lives,” the statement continued.

The bill also increases the number of days in which an insulin prescription can be refilled, the amount of time that an insulin prescription can last, and allows pharmacists to fill an insulin prescription in cases where a prescribing physician or nurse practitioner cannot be reached.

In previous reporting on this subject, KSL Newsradio reporter Kelli Pierce said that the insurance industry had been largely supportive of the legislation.

However, Kelly Atkinson the director of the Utah Health Insurance Association, an organization that is neutral on the bill, had concerns.

“There’s nothing in this legislation that curtails the cost of insulin. It curtails the cost to the public. But as was rightly pointed out by this committee, the pharmaceutical companies control the cost of insulin,” Atkinson said.

To read more about the soaring costs of prescription prices in Utah, please visit this site.