Polis signs healthcare bill that aims to lower insulin costs

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Governor Jared Polis signed multiple healthcare bills last week, including one that sets new caps on insulin prices.

DENVER — In a bill-signing ceremony at the Boettcher Mansion last week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed 14 healthcare bills that included a bill aimed at lowering insulin costs. 

Bill HB21-1307 includes a new Insulin Affordability Program that will allow eligible participants to receive a one-year insulin prescription for no more than a $50 copay for a one month supply. The program also set a copay price cap at $35 for an emergency 30-day supply of insulin once per 12-month period.

Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Boulder), Rep. Dylan Roberts (D-Eagle), and Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-Vail) sponsored the bill.

Many Coloradans had been struggling with the high cost of insulin but a previously signed bill, HB19-1216, capped insulin at $100 a month. This cap is still included in the house bill signed last week. 

RELATED: Diabetes insulin capped at $100 per month under new state law

“For Coloradans living with Type 1 Diabetes, insulin is essential to their survival – it is the same as oxygen,” Rep. Roberts said about HB19-1216. “With this new law, Coloradans will no longer be forced to choose between this life-saving and life-sustaining drug and their other expenses.”

Below is the full list of bills that were signed into law last week according to Colorado Politics: 

  • Senate Bill 290 from Sens. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, and Reps. Mary Young, D-Greeley, and Mary Bradfield, R-Colorado Springs, which puts $15 million into the Area Agencies on Aging grant program aimed at providing services for older Coloradans
  • Senate Bill 158 from Danielson, Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and Reps. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada, and Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, which adds geriatric advanced practice providers to the Colorado Health Service Corps program
  • Senate Bill 181 from Sens. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Reps. Leslie Herod, D-Denver and Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton, which retools the existing Health Disparities Grant Program to broaden its scope and expand its functions
  • Senate Bill 9 from Caraveo and Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Longmont, a $4.1 million bill to provide free contraceptive care and counseling through the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
  • Senate Bill 16 from Pettersen, Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn, and House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, which requires health insurance plans to cover contraception as well as counseling, prevention, screening, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
  • Senate Bill 25 from Pettersen, Coram, Reps. Kerry Tipper, D-Lakewood, and Perry Will, R-New Castle, which directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to seek permission from the federal government to expand family planning services offered through Medicaid to those earning up to 260% of the federal poverty level. Medicaid currently offers those services to adults without dependent children who earn up to 133% of the federal poverty level and pregnant women over the age of 19 with a household income of up to the 260% threshold
  • Senate Bill 27 from Pettersen, Danielson, Tipper and Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver, which sends the Department of Human Services $4 million over the next two fiscal years to partner with nonprofit organizations and distribution centers to provide diapers, wipes and diaper creams
  • Senate Bills 193 and 194 from Buckner and Herod, which make a number of changes to state law to insert additional protections for pregnant people before, during and after giving birth
  • House Bill 1198 from Buckner, Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora, and Sen. Chris Kolker, D- Centennial, which reworks and expands hospital requirements for providing discounted care to patients without health insurance
  • Senate Bill 169 from Buckner, Esgar and Rep. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora, which bans insurance companies from using external consumer data and predictive models that unfairly discriminate on the basis on race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex or sexual orientation
  • House Bill 1307 from Jaquez Lewis, Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle, and Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, which creates an Insulin Affordability Program in the Department of Regulatory Agencies that will allow eligible participants to receive a one-year insulin prescription for no more than a $50 copay for a 30-day supply. The program also set a copay price cap at $35 for an emergency 30-day supply of insulin once per 12-month period
  • House Bill 1005 from Mullica, Caraveo and Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, which calls on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to create a task force to design a program in which medical professionals could cross-train to be able to serve the state in an emergency or disaster and receive student loan relief for their service; and
  • House Bill 1068 from Moreno, Titone, Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, and Sen. Jim Smallwood, R-Parker, under which insurers would be required to cover yearly mental health screenings, comparable to physical checkups or other preventive care. Insurance companies could not collect deductibles, copayments or coinsurance for the coverage.

RELATED: Walmart launches low-cost private label insulin brand


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