Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill into law on Wednesday that will cap co-pays for insulin in efforts to address the rising costs of the drug. After approving numerous bills that day, Polis commented that HB19-1216 means the “days of insulin price gouging are over in Colorado.”
Insulin prices have steadily increased over the years, with patients currently paying double the amount they had in 2012. Maximum costs of insulin can be upward of $1,000 under cost-sharing health plans.
The new law specifically puts the cap on insulin co-pays at $100. The amount will be enforced no matter the amount of insulin a patient uses, appealing to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients. While the law will impose a maximum, it does not limit insurance companies from charging patients a lower co-pay. Insurance companies are required to cover any amount over the set $100 maximum.
Additionally, the law instructs the Colorado attorney general to investigate the rising prices of insulin throughout the state. Once completed, the attorney general must present a report to the legislature that will be available to the public. The report will summarize the insulin pricing practices with costs of health care coverage plans, public policy recommendations to control and prevent overpricing, and provide recommendations for improvements of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act to prevent deceptive pharmaceutical sales.
Colorado is the first state to impose a cap on insulin and plans to continue staunch regulations on pharmaceutical companies. The cap will go into effect on January 1, 2020. While the attorney general’s investigation may begin immediately, but must be reported by November 2020.