May 19, 2022 -- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed legislation this week to limit insulin costs for people living with diabetes, according to The Baltimore Sun.

House Bill 1397, also known as the Insulin Cost Reduction Act, sets a monthly co-payment cap of $30 for a 30-day supply of insulin for those on state-regulated commercial health insurance plans. It will apply to all insurance policies issued or renewed in Maryland for 2023.

“Maryland has been a national leader in making prescription drugs more accessible and affordable to its residents,” Maryland Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk, who led the bill through the House of Delegates, said in a statement.

Hogan also described the initiative as one driven by the federal government’s failure to act nationally, The Baltimore Sun reported. In March, the U.S. House passed a bill to cap monthly insulin prices at $35, but the legislation has stalled in the Senate.

The American Diabetes Association applauded Maryland’s new law as a “critical action that will help save lives.” One in four Americans with diabetes has reported that they rationed insulin during the pandemic, the association said.

“Taking less than the prescribed amount of insulin can lead to uncontrolled glucose levels, causing complications and damage to different parts of the body, such as the eyes, kidneys or heart,” the association said in the statement.

Even those who haven’t rationed insulin have faced rising medication costs alongside the increasing costs of their rent or mortgage, groceries and energy bills, the association said. Now about 20 states and the District of Columbia have set price caps to help people with diabetes afford insulin and reduce their risk for dangerous complications.

“I have cared for patients with diabetes as a healthcare provider, and I know the tremendous impact that this cap will have on making insulin more affordable for patients across the state,” Maryland Sen. Clarence Lam, MD, who led the bill through the Senate, said in the statement.

“As a physician, I have seen patients who struggle with the choice of putting food on their tables or paying for the lifesaving drugs they need,” he said. “Even a one-time instance of rationing their healthcare can have serious consequences.”

For more information about the new law, people can contact the Maryland Insurance Administration at 410-468-2258.

Show Sources

The Baltimore Sun: “$1.2 billion for Maryland schools, medical facilities, parks and more among 140 bills signed by Gov. Larry Hogan.”

 

Maryland General Assembly: “House Bill 1397, Insulin Cost Reduction Act.”

 

American Diabetes Association: “American Diabetes Association Applauds Maryland Passage of Law to Cap Monthly Insulin Co-Pays at $30.”

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