Bill that will reduce high, out-of-pocket prescription costs unveiled

A bill that will cut high, out-of-pocket costs of prescription medicine was made public at a press conference Wednesday in Columbus.

State Representatives Thomas West and Susan Manchester unveiled House Bill 469, which aims to protect patients and reduce out-of-pocket prescription drug costs by prohibiting discriminatory policies and allowing aid from copay assistance programs to count toward a patient's deductible.

Some of these medications are costing patients 10s of thousands of dollars a month.

Abbey Houdenshild saw the price of medication for her two sons with hemophilia increase dramatically due to a change in insurance coverage rules.

"I just recently added it up and its $32,000 for one month supply...for both of them added together," Houdenshild told News Center 7's Jim Otte.

Prices are rising because some medical plans are now limiting the use of discount programs, coupons and co-pay programs.

Some pharmacists are experiencing it too.

"These are medications that are life-saving medications that the patient has to take every single day," Aaron Clark of Equitas Health said.

State Representative Susan Manchester began working with other lawmakers to introduce a bill designed to make sure co-pays are allowed.

"It could be a manufacturer's could be a church or charity or even a benevolent family member who wants to pay on their behalf that is not counting toward their deductible, and that's why you're exactly right, this is a fairness issue, ensuring patient access to care and lowering their out-of-pocket costs," Manchester said.

Future hearings at the statehouse in Columbus will bring a formal response from insurance companies.

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