Rhode Island Passes Law to Cap Monthly Insulin Co-Pays at $40
State joins growing list helping those living with diabetes afford life-saving medication
The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) applauds Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee for signing legislation capping monthly copayments for insulin at $40 for those on state-regulated plans, making Rhode Island the 20th state, plus the District of Columbia, to enact a copay cap on the life-saving medication. Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy and Senator Melissa Murray steered the legislation, with support from Representatives Morales and Diaz, to favorable passage in the House and Senate.
“This bill will help Rhode Islanders better afford their lifesaving insulin. We know that one in four people with diabetes in this country have used less insulin than recommended because of high cost. Making sure people can manage their disease effectively will keep them out of the emergency room and save money—on top of being the right thing to do for the residents of our state who need it most,” said Stephen Habbe, Director of State Government Affairs for the ADA.
Taking less than the prescribed amount of insulin can lead to uncontrolled glucose levels causing damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, kidneys, or heart. Without enough insulin, a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis can occur. If untreated, it can be fatal. Even if a person is not rationing their insulin, it doesn’t mean that the costs aren’t burdensome. The cost can still affect a person’s life in other significant ways, a person with diabetes may not be able to pay rent or their mortgage because they have to buy insulin, or they may not be able to buy groceries or other medications they require. More than 100,000 people have diabetes in Rhode Island, and 5,000 more are diagnosed each year.
For more information about Rhode Island’s new law, please contact the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner’s consumer assistance partner, RIPIN, at 401-270-0101.
The ADA continues to be a leader in federal and state efforts to ensure that insulin is affordable and accessible for all people who need this life-sustaining medication.
If you are struggling to pay for insulin or know someone who is, the ADA has resources to help—visit InsulinHelp.org.
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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).