The West Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 4252, a bill that reduces the co-pay on insulin and medical devices used by people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. HB 4252 would amend a previous law, allowing copays for a 30-day supply of insulin covered by prescriptions to drop from a maximum of $100 to $35.
HB 4252 makes changes to a law passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 2020. House Bill 4543 set a hard cap of $100 on a 40-day supply of insulin. HB 4252 goes further than the 2020 bill by also putting a $100 cap on cost sharing for devices used by diabetics, such as blood glucose test strips, glucometers and continuous glucose meters, lancets and lancing devices and insulin syringes. It would also put a $250 cap on cost sharing for insulin pumps used to inject insulin at programmed intervals.
House Health Chairman Matthew Rohrbach, R-Cabell stated that “This now includes devices which are key to diabetes…The old days are gone. We now have continuous glucose monitors. You can now get your glucose level on your phone. It’s very common, but obviously technology has a cost. This is an attempt to particularly help our families, because our families are struggling with these costs.”
The bill passed on a 94-3 vote. The three delegates who voted against the bill were Laura Kimble, R-Harrison; Shannon Kimes, R-Wood, and Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock. Three members were absent.
It is estimated that 240,000 West Virginians have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes with an estimated 65,000 with undiagnosed diabetes. Medical costs attributed to diabetes are more than $2.5 billion annually in West Virginia.
Insulin costs and diabetes drugs and supplies are often so expensive that patients must ration medication or not use it.
During the floor discussion, Delegate Danielle Walker, D-Monongalia, identified herself as a Type 2 diabetic who understood the financial burden of diabetes.
“And because of the financial strain in getting your insulin and your supplies, last session I took my insulin blindly because I couldn’t afford the strips or the needles to see what my glucose levels are. And we have many West Virginians facing this every day.”
The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.