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Legislation capping monthly cost of insulin takes effect today; cost capped at $30 for 30-day supply

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Legislation passed during the 2021 Kentucky General assembly to cap the monthly cost of insulin to the state’s nearly half a million adult diabetics will take effect today.

Under the legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell, and known as House Bill 95, insulin cost co-pays will be capped at $30 per 30-day supply for 2022, regardless of the amount or type of insulin a person is prescribed, with no deductible.

Rep. Danny Bentley

During floor debate, Bentley told his colleagues, “I use insulin. A box of Lantus is over $300,” he said. “So, if you use four boxes a month, that’s $1,200.”

Rep. Charles Booker, D-Louisville, who is also diabetic, said some people have had to choose between food and insulin, due to its current high cost.

“Making sure Kentuckians can get this life-saving drug without worrying about how much money they have in their pocket is not a partisan thing.  It’s something we all should strive for, and this is a moment we should all say this is true.”

The bill cleared both chambers without a single “no” vote and was quickly signed into law by Gov. Andy Beshear.

“This is an excellent example of what we, when we are at our very best,” said Rep. Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, whose teenage son is diabetic.

“When we work together across the aisle, as brothers and sisters, as mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, grandfathers and grandmothers; to make sure that no one will have to lose limbs, lose kidneys, lose their lives to this disease.”

According to the Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky has the fourth highest mortality rate from diabetes. Over 474,000 adult Kentuckians currently have diabetes, a number that has doubled over the last two decades. The health disparity only widens in more rural parts of the state, where the diabetes rate reaches 17 percent.

Bentley, a pharmacist himself, said this could mean the difference between life and death.

“I’ve been behind that pharmacy counter for 44 years. There have been many prescriptions I gave to people. If they didn’t have money, I made sure they had insulin going out the door.”

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