Federal  Updates:

HELP Copays Act:  While S. 1375 was tabled during the May Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee markup on PBM’s, the bill is up to eight cosponsors.  NHF continues to solicit Members of Congress to cosponsor S. 1375 and HR 830.  HR 830 has forty cosponsors to date.  NHF staff met with five Senate offices and one House member May 22 in Washington, DC and also has scheduled virtual meetings the week after Memorial Day with Sens. Durbin, Wyden, and Merkley. 

Safe Step Act: On May 2nd, The Safe Step Act (S.652) was accepted as an amendment and reported favorably out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The Safe Step Act, a piece of legislation that NHF alongside many patient advocacy groups have supported in multiple Congresses, places reasonable limits on the use of step therapy, also known as “fail first”. The Act now heads to the Senate for full consideration.  

State Updates:

Colorado: SB 195, Colorado's copay accumulator bill, passed a concurrence vote in the Senate and was sent to Gov. Polis for his signature.   The Governor has thirty days to veto the bill (from May 8) before it takes effect automatically. 

Massachusetts: On May 2nd, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Financial Services held a committee meeting on a variety of healthcare issues, including copay accumulator adjusters. Several members of the All Copays Count Coalition, including NHF, provided written testimony to the Committee, and several patient advocates provided spoken testimony. More hearings, both in the House and the Senate, are expected to occur in the fall.  

Missouri: HB 442, Missouri’s copay accumulator bill, died in the Senate after attempts to attach it to another bill failed at the end of the session. 

Nevada: SB 194, a measure to restrict the use of step therapy by health insurers, passed the House and Senate and was sent to the Governor for his signature.  SB 194 was a priority for the Nevada Chapter of NHF at its Advocacy Day April 17. 

Ohio: Following the Ohio budget, Representative Susan Manchester has introduced a new standalone bill to address copay accumulator adjustment policies.  HB 177 has been referred to the House Committee on Insurance. In the following weeks, patient advocacy organizations will be working with Rep. Manchester to obtain co-sponsors in the House prior to the bill being called up to the Committee.  

Oregon:  Oregon’s copay accumulator adjuster bill, SB 565, died in late April after efforts to attach it to another bill failed. 

Pennsylvania: SB 372, the Commonwealth’s copay accumulator legislation has been introduced in the Senate and sent to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. On June 7th, the Pennsylvania All Copays Count Coalition, alongside the Western and Eastern Pennsylvania Bleeding Disorders Foundations, will be in Harrisburg to meet with legislators on the legislation. Coalition members attending Harrisburg include the bleeding disorders community, the MS Society, the Arthritis Foundation, the Immune Deficiency Foundation, and the National Psoriasis Foundation.  

Rhode Island: SB 799, the State’s copay accumulator legislation, passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation, and passed on the Senate floor on May 30th. Patients for Prescription Access, a coalition of chronic disease organizations in New England, are working with the House to bring H. 6159, the House version of the legislation, to the floor for a vote.  

Texas: HB 999, the State’s copay accumulator legislation, passed through the House and Senate on Thursday, May 25th. The legislation now goes to Governor Abbott’s desk for signature. If approved, Texas will be the nineteenth state to pass co-pay accumulator legislation, and the largest by population in the United States.  

HB 3286 has successfully passed through both the Texas House and Senate and currently awaits the Governor's approval. If signed, this bill is set to take effect on September 1, 2023. This bill complements Texas House Bill 1283, which extends the Vendor Drug Program (VDP). HB1283 was sent to the Governor on May 25, 2023 and is awaiting approval. Both bills have the potential to significantly impact the Texas Medicaid pharmacy program.   

Washington, DC: On May 24th, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed B-141, the district’s copay accumulator legislation following passage by the City Council. Now DC Act 25-102, the legislation is transferred to Congress for a sixty-day review prior to becoming law.  

Many more state updates are to come! Be on the lookout next month for further updates! Follow NHF on social media or go to NHF's advocacy page for more information