Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

July 28, 2020

Senator Lesser Leads Passage of Telehealth and Insulin Bills

Today, State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) led passage of two health care reform bills that were discussed at length on the floor of the State Senate during Tuesday’s special session. The bills that aim to cap the monthly cost of diabetes treatment and expand Telehealth services now head to Governor Lamont’s desk to be signed.

Today during the special session, Senate Chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Senator Matt Lesser, led passage of HB 6001, An Act Concerning Telehealth, and HB 6003, An Act Concerning Diabetes and High Deductible Health Plans.

The insulin bill caps a person’s out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $25 per month, caps non-insulin drugs like glucagon at $25 per month, and caps diabetic equipment and supplies (such as blood glucose test strips, glucometers, lancets, and syringes) at $100 per month. The bill also authorizes pharmacists to prescribe and dispense up to a 30-day supply of ’emergency’ insulin if a person has less than a seven-day supply and would otherwise not be able to obtain any lifesaving insulin.

“Passing HB 6003 bill puts Connecticut ahead of the country with the nation’s strongest law promoting access to insulin,” said Sen. Lesser. “We know that 25% of diabetics are rationing their insulin because they can’t afford it, a life threatening problem. That ends with this bill. At the beginning of the year – before the pandemic hit – I made addressing the cost and affordability of insulin my top legislative priority for the year, and while a lot has happened since, we are delivering on that promise.”

Both bills were authored and introduced by Lesser and seek to improve health care for Connecticut residents as the state grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has completely transformed the way we access health care in Connecticut,” said Sen. Lesser. “It’s important that patients and doctors have the certainty to know that telehealth is here to stay for the medium term, and likely long after the pandemic. This legislation codifies basic rules of the road and ensures stability as we move through this uncertain time.”

During the coronavirus crisis in the state, many changes were implemented to keep residents of Connecticut safe including a virtual practice of medicine. The Department of Public Health waived several requirements in order to provide audio and visual communication between providers and patients. Telehealth has played a huge role beginning in the middle of March following the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Providers have been able to perform under federal privacy requirements while providing reliable treatment through these platforms. Teleheath has been proven to be an essential tool during the coronavirus crisis and it will continue to be a tool for doctors and providers to use in the future if needed. If telehealth wasn’t available through the duration of the pandemic, many doctors and health care professionals would have suffered greater financial hardship.