Insurers

71 patient groups comment on how nondiscrimination in healthcare rule can improve prescription drug access

The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute (HIV+Hep) and the Autoimmune Association, along with 69 other patient organizations, commented on how the Section 1557 nondiscrimination in healthcare proposed rule can be used to improve patient access to prescription drugs. In their comment letter, the patient groups expressed strong support for the “meaningful steps to improve upon current regulations to ensure that people are not discriminated against in healthcare. In several instances, you have proposed to restore protections that had been included in the past but later withdrawn. In other instances, you have provided further clarity on what constitutes discrimination. In any instance, we emphasize that the law and whatever is finalized in regulation must be strictly enforced.”

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Insurers warned that excessive utilization management of prescription drugs is potentially discriminatory

s part of the Biden administration’s proposed rule to implement the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provisions, excessive use of utilization management for prescription drugs, including prior authorization, step therapy, and durational or quantity limits could be deemed discriminatory. Additionally, the proposed rule adds back protections that prohibit insurers and other health programs from engaging in marketing practices and benefit design that discriminate on the basis of certain conditions, including disability. 

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Biden administration takes big step in making drugs affordable for patients: Also strengthens nondiscrimination protections

In reaction to the Biden administration’s announcement today that insurers on the federal exchange must offer standard plans, which for the most part use reasonable copay limits for prescription drugs, Carl Schmid, executive director, HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute (HIV+Hep), issued the following statement: “This is a huge win for patients. Insurers have made it almost impossible for patients to afford their medications by first requiring them to meet a high deductible and then charging high co-insurance, which is a percentage of the list price of the drug. By limiting patient copays and keeping more drugs outside of the deductible, patients will be better able to afford their medications. We only wish the Biden administration would have applied these principles to more metal levels and drug tiers, but this provides better options for people who rely on prescription drugs.”

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51 patient groups support Biden administration plans to limit cost-sharing for prescription drugs

The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute and the Autoimmune Association, along with 45 other patient organizations, submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Notice of Benefits and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2023 proposed rule. The sign-on letter applauds the Biden administration for efforts to make drugs more affordable for patients by requiring insurers on the federal exchange to offer standardized plans with copays rather than co-insurance. However, the groups urge HHS to make improvements to the standard plans in the final rule by increasing the number of drugs not subject to a deductible and lowering some copay amounts.

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Biden administration begins to address patient affordability of medications: but fails to ensure copay assistance counts as patient cost-sharing

The Biden administration released a proposed rule that will govern how private health plans must operate in 2023 and in doing so, took some steps to limit patient cost-sharing for prescription drugs. However, despite the urging from patient groups, they are not requiring insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to count copay assistance towards patient out-of-pocket cost-sharing and deductibles.

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