Jorge Cabrera

State Senator

Jorge Cabrera

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together to Solve Problems

April 29, 2021

Sen. Cabrera Votes for Measure to Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable

HARTFORD, CT – State Senator Jorge Cabrera (D-Hamden) voted in favor of legislation that would prohibit insurers from implementing copay accumulator programs. A copay accumulator is a strategy used by insurance companies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) that stop copay assistance coupons from counting toward a patient’s deductible. These programs are a disadvantage to patients, making the cost of prescription drugs unaffordable.

“I am pleased to support this legislation,” said Sen. Cabrera. “I’ve heard from so many of my constituents that they are struggling to cover the exorbitant costs of prescription drugs. These are life-saving drugs that should not be priced out of a middle-class American’s budget. We are taking yet another step to protect Connecticut residents from sky-rocketing prices.”

Senate Bill 1003, “An Act Prohibiting Certain Health Carriers and Pharmacy Benefits Managers From Employing Copay Accumulator Programs,” would require certain health carriers and pharmacy benefits managers to give credit for payments made by third parties for the amount of, or any portion of the amount of, an insured’s or enrollee’s cost-sharing liability for a covered benefit.

Copay accumulator programs exacerbate the issue of high prescription drug costs. Additionally, these programs cause many challenges for chronically ill patients as they fall under financial hardship and can increase the likelihood of treatment non-adherence and an advanced disease state. Additionally, patients who continue treatment may incur significant debt for long term costly treatments.

Under copayment accumulator programs, any copayment assistance that a patient receives, whether it be directly from a pharmaceutical manufacturer or from coupon cards such as Good RX, it does not count toward the patient’s deductible. Patients must spend more out of pocket to reach their deductible, sometimes thousands of dollars more. For too many patients, this makes the drugs they depend on unaffordable.