Letter in support for MS SB 2470 so that patients can afford their prescription medications

January 25, 2022
Chair Walter Michel
Insurance Committee
Room 212-C
P.O. Box 1018
Jackson, Mississippi 39215

Re: Support for SB 2470 so that Patients can Afford their Prescription Medications


Dear Senator Michel,

The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute is a leading HIV and hepatitis policy organization promoting quality and affordable healthcare for people living with or at risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other serious and chronic health conditions. We strongly support Senate Bill 2470, which would require health insurers to accept and count payments made on behalf of patients towards deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums and ask that you conduct a hearing on the bill as soon as possible.

Copay accumulators are harmful policies that many insurance plans, employers, and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) are implementing in which copay assistance does not count towards a beneficiary’ out-of-pocket costs and deductible. By passing this bill, Mississippi will join 12 other states (Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia) and Puerto Rico in protecting consumers purchasing insurance on the private market by assuring their copay assistance will count towards cost-sharing obligations.

People with HIV, hepatitis, and others with serious and chronic conditions rely on medications to remain healthy and alive. People with HIV and hepatitis B rely on drug regimens that they must take for the rest of their lives, while people with hepatitis C can be cured of their disease in as little as 8 to 12 weeks. However, even though people may have health insurance, access to these medications is still insurmountable for many due to high deductibles and cost-sharing, often in terms of co-insurance. Copay assistance is critical for patients to afford and adhere to their medications. It is particularly important during the COVID-19 epidemic when so many individuals and families are hurting economically. Currently, all Mississippi health insurers on the individual marketplace have language in their individual health plan documents stating that copay assistance may not be counted.

For the benefit of patients who rely on prescription drugs to maintain their health, we urge you to support SB 2470. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out via phone at (202) 462-3042 or email at cschmid@hivhep.org.

Thank you very much.


Carl E. Schmid II
Executive Director

cc: Senator Kevin Blackwell, Senator Josh Harkins, Senator Dean Kirby

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