WASHINGTON, July 26 — Sen. Raphael G. WarnockD-Georgiaissued the following press release and letters on July 25, 2022:
WE Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) challenged seven major health insurers to reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket insulin expenses for their respective beneficiaries. The senator sent letters to Anthem Health, Centene Corporation, Cigna Corporation, SVC Healthhuman, Permanent Kaiserand Molina Healthcare, Inc. The senator’s latest push follows that of UnitedHealthcare July 15th the announcement that the company will eliminate out-of-pocket insulin expenses for its beneficiaries.
“The high cost of insulin is a problem that affects far too many Georgians and Americans,” Senator Reverend Warnock wrote to insurers. . This life-saving medicine must be accessible and affordable for those who need it.”
“Clearly there is momentum behind the push to reduce the cost of insulin,” Senator Reverend Warnock continued to insurers. an uncertain economy, Georgians want affordable insulin now. I urge you to put people before profits and take immediate action to reduce or eliminate insulin out-of-pocket costs for your beneficiaries.
In Georgia, more than one million people have diabetes, or 12% of the state’s adult population. According to data collected by Peterson-KFF, more than “1 in 20 insulin users whose costs currently exceed [a $35] cap on private insurance markets pay more than $150 per month per insulin product.” Since joining the Senate, Senator Warnock received more than 5,000 letters from Georgians asking it to take action to lower prescription drug prices, more than 600 relating specifically to insulin.
Senator Warnocka longtime champion of affordable, quality healthcare, introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which caps the cost of insulin to patients at $35 for insulin users with private insurance and health insurance. The senator has worked since February to build his party’s support for the legislation, including winning co-sponsors from a majority of his Democratic voters. Senate colleagues as well as ensuring bipartisan passage of the bill through the House of Representatives. In addition, the senator has won significant endorsements for his legislation, including from the American Diabetes Association. Recently, the senator got his $35 out-of-pocket spending cap legislation as a provision of the bipartisan Shaheen-Collins Insulin Legislative Package.
Read Senator Warnock full letter to Centene Corporation (https://www.warnock.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/07.25.2022-Senator-Warnock-Insulin-Letter-to-Centene.pdf), Cigna Corporation (https://www.warnock.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/07.25.2022-Senator-Warnock-Insulin-Letter-to-Cigna.pdf), SVC HealthHuman (https://www.warnock.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/07.25.2022-Senator-Warnock-Insulin-Letter-to-Humana.pdf), Permanent Kaiser (https://www.warnock.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/07.25.2022-Senator-Warnock-Insulin-Letter-to-Kaiser-Permanente.pdf), and Molina Healthcare, Inc. (https://www.warnock.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/07.25.2022-Senator-Warnock-Insulin-Letter-to-Molina.pdf).
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July 25, 2022
TO: Gail BoudreauxPresident and CEO, Elevance Health, 220 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Dear Ms. Boudreaux:
I am writing to urge you to reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket spending on insulin for your beneficiaries as soon as possible. The high cost of insulin is an issue that affects far too many Georgians and Americans.
According to data collected by Peterson-KFF, more than “1 in 20 insulin users whose costs currently exceed [a $35] cap on private insurance markets pay more than $150 per month and per insulin product. -conservative medicine must be accessible and affordable for those who need it.
That’s why I was happy to see UnitedHealthcare advertise on July 15, 2022 that it plans to eliminate out-of-pocket insulin expenses for its beneficiaries./3 In its announcement, UnitedHealthcare highlighted how its decision is driven by the specific healthcare goal of helping “reduce the cost burden medical care for consumers and encourage better medication adherence, reducing the risk of complications and costly hospitalizations.” UnitedHealthcare’s action on this issue demonstrates that health insurers have a responsibility to ensure access affordable medication for their registrants I strongly encourage you to consider taking steps to reduce the cost of insulin for your patient members.
This problem is personal to me. In Georgia, more than one million people have diabetes, or 12% of the state’s adult population./4 Although not all diabetics use insulin, those who do need it to survive . Since joining the Senate, I’ve received over 5,000 letters from Georgians asking me to take action to lower the price of prescription drugs, over 600 relating specifically to insulin. This shows that high insulin costs are an issue that is specifically, and only, a priority for people in my condition.
For months I insisted that Senate to take action and finally pass the Affordable Insulin Now Act, my legislation to cap the cost of insulin for people on private plans and Medicare prescription drug plans. This key piece of legislation was passed House of Representatives in April with bipartisan support, and I continue to fight to have this provision passed into law in Congress. My efforts to highlight the exorbitant cost of insulin also led Sanofione of only three insulin manufacturers serving the WEto announce that uninsured patients will not pay more than $35 per month for their life-saving medicine.
It is clear that there is momentum behind the desire to reduce the cost of insulin. We must ensure affordability for all insulin users, and we cannot afford to wait another day. Amid rising costs and an uncertain economy, Georgians now want affordable insulin. I urge you to put people before profits and take immediate action to reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket insulin expenses for your beneficiaries.
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Original text here: https://www.warnock.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/senator-reverend-warnock-challenges-nations-major-insurers-to-reduce-or-eliminate-out-of-pocket-insulin-costs/