U.S. Pain Foundation Endorses Legislation

February 7, 2017

The U.S. Pain Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those who live with painful conditions, is supporting legislation I introduced with Rep. Linda Orange to ensure stable prescription drug benefits for patients across Connecticut. HB 6622 would guarantee that individuals receive the prescription drug coverage that they signed up for by limiting when insurer policies can change out-of-pocket costs for a drug or remove it from coverage.

There are currently no regulations in Connecticut that prohibit health plans from changing contracted pharmacy benefits in the middle of the year, when individuals are locked into their plans. As a result, insurers can, at any time, increase out-of-pocket costs, enact more restrictions on coverage, or remove coverage of a prescription medication altogether. This particular practice is known as “non-medical switching” because patients are forced to switch for financial reasons, as opposed to medical ones.

Changing a patient’s prescription without prior warning and while they are still locked into their health plan is a dangerous practice. It not only interrupts the treatment recommended by a patient’s physician, but can also lead to higher medical costs in the long run. This legislation would give patients the peace of mind that they will have access to the medication they need for the duration of their plan.

For more information, please read the U.S. Pain Foundation's press release.