New Kentucky Bill Would Require Insurers to Help with EpiPens

Kentucky followed suit with Illinois’ bill that requires health insurance providers to include the Epinephrine injectors in their coverage for children and teenagers. 


Illinois was the first state to propose the bill that aimed to help parents save up some money from purchasing a life-saving epinephrine shot for their children. Instead of burdening the parents for epinephrine injection, the State shifted the expenses to the health insurance providers. The House Bill 3435 signed by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker took effect last January 1, 2020. 


This is by far one of the biggest steps for the legislation in its goal of protecting their children and their families. Parents are now assured that their kids will receive the treatment they need especially after how several states battled with a limited supply of EpiPens in the previous year. 


Cost of EpiPens keep on rising

The epinephrine shots are useful during anaphylactic shocks. The EP shot delivers adrenaline to the body to restart the heart or open up airways and reduce the swelling. 


EpiPens are effective first-aid life-saving medication. However, more and more families are finding it more difficult to purchase it due to the cost. Back in 2009, a pair of EpiPen was only for $100 and by the next year, the price jumped to a hefty amount of $600. At the moment, two packs of the injectors are priced at $700. The generic version of EpiPens costs half as much. 


Kentucky follows suit

Kentucky decided to follow suit and proposed a bill similar to that of Illinois. If the bill is passed and approved, health insurance providers in the state of Kentucky will be required to cap copayments and deductibles at $50/injection. This price will be adjusted for price inflation every year. What will become known as House Bill 519 will be beneficial for families with children suffering from extreme allergies as it will help them with their medical expenses. 


The bill is assumed to go into effect after January 1, 2021. 


What does this mean for families in Kentucky?

Wave3 News report interviewed families with children suffering from severe allergies. Jaime Booker said that her daughter suffers from a serious allergic reaction and just recently had the biggest scare of her child’s life. The EpiPen injection saved her daughter’s life. 


She further explained that for families like hers, the cost of EP shots are a constant source of concern. Booker has an insurance plan that covers most of the injectors’ cost but for others who don’t have the means, it can be difficult for them to afford even a pair of epinephrine injectors. 


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