MEASURE INCREASES TRANSPARENCY OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS
Bill would require insurance carriers to disclose patient out-of-pocket costs
AUGUSTA – A measure that would allow consumers to review and compare prescription drug costs between insurance policies received support from health advocates and pharmaceutical companies during a public hearing in state’s Insurance and Financial Affairs committee yesterday.
“Maine citizens are playing a more active role in their healthcare decisions today than in years past,” said Democratic State Senator Jim Dill of Orono, the sponsor of the measure. “The goal of this bill is to inform consumers which prescription drugs are covered by their insurance, as well as how much their out-of-pocket expenses will be, or if there are restrictions on their coverage.”
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Mainers, between the age of 19-64, fill an average of nearly 16 prescriptions each year. Americans spend an average of $59 per month in out of pocket expenses for prescriptions–with 12 percent spending more than $100 per month.
“It doesn’t take long for out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to add up when you have to get them every month. Consumers should be able to compare their options by know what their drug costs will be under the different plans available,” added Senator Dill.
The Insurance and Financial Services Committee will hold a work session on LD 636, “An Act to Provide Consumers of Health Care with Information Regarding Health Care Costs,” in the coming weeks.