House approves Manchester’s bill

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Susan Manchester, R-Waynesfield, announced Wednesday the Ohio House has unanimously approved House Bill 135, her bipartisan legislation that would cut out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for patients.

Ohio patients with complex, chronic conditions oftentimes rely on copay assistance programs offered through drug manufacturers, charities and other third-party organizations to help cover the costs of their prescription drugs.

However, health insurance providers have increased their use of copay accumulator adjustment policies that disallow payments made through copay assistance programs to count toward a patient’s deductible. Patients impacted by these policies are often unaware they exist and are blindsided once they learn these payments did not apply to their deductible.

H.B. 135 solves this issue by directing health insurers to apply all payments made by either the patient or on the patient’s behalf through an assistance program to count toward a patient’s deductible.

“Co-pay assistance programs help patients save up to thousands of dollars each month in their prescription drug costs,” said Manchester. “This bill will protect these patients from unfair policies and ensure they have access to the programs they need for their health.”

The bill is supported by a large coalition of more than 60 health organizations, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Kidney Fund, the Chronic Disease Coalition, the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers and many more.

The measure now awaits further consideration in the Senate.