Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

July 28, 2020

Senate Democrats Pass Bill To Cap Cost of Insulin and Diabetes Supplies

Today, the Senate Democratic Caucus passed legislation that will help residents in the state who have diabetes. The bill, HB 6003, contains several provisions to help patients and their families afford insulin. It will cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $25 per month, cap noninsulin drugs like glucagon, at $25 per month, and cap equipment and supplies like blood glucose test strips, glucometers, lancets, landing devices and insulin syringes at $100 per month for those with state regulated health insurance, such as plans sold through the public exchange and small group plans. Connecticut will become the twelfth state to introduce caps on insulin.

“Passing this legislation has been a priority for the Senate Democratic caucus and I’m pleased to see it finally happen,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven). “For years, the cost of insulin has continued to exorbitantly rise, putting far too many individuals with diabetes in a position where they may risk their health by attempting to ration their dosage due to cost. This bill will ensure that Connecticut residents are not put in that situation anymore and that these vital medicines are more affordable.”

“The passage of this bill shows Connecticut leadership at its best,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “The rising cost of insulin hurts thousands of people across the country and puts individuals in a precarious situation that sometimes involves them rationing or going without their insulin all together. For diabetics, that is a life-threatening situation and it’s unacceptable. By passing this bill, we are addressing this critical issue and ensuring that diabetics in Connecticut have access to insulin and other necessary medicines and equipment at an affordable cost.”

The bill authorizes pharmacists to prescribe and dispense up to a 30-day supply of insulin if a person has less than a seven-day supply and will otherwise not be able to obtain such insulin. Pharmacists will accept insurance or cash payment. This option is available to patients once every 12-months and pharmacists will update the statewide prescription drug monitoring program to ensure.

These new implementations will now create a new affordable pathway for residents in Connecticut. As a state, we now have the lowest cap altogether, including insulin, noninsulin, equipment and devices. As this moves forward, we continue to try to help people who don’t have insurance using two different approaches. One being to obtain affordable insulin at community health centers and expanding Medicaid to cover folks who have Type 1 diabetes.

Under the federal 340 prescription drug program, individuals who receive health services from federally certified “covered entities,” have access to significantly reduced drug costs. Diabetics with high cost insulin are often good candidates for 340B discounts, especially those with high-deductible health plans. Unfortunately, many people struggling to pay for their insulin are not aware of the federal resources.

The bill establishes a working group to consider whether DSS should implement a new program that direct individuals with diabetes to covered entities. If established, the program would include an informational website that can inform individuals whether their prescribed insulin is available through the 340B program. DSS, through the website, would arrange referrals to a covered entity for an appointment within 30 days.