harris 051321SPRINGFIELD - To help patients better manage their prescription costs, State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey) passed legislation out of the Senate Insurance Committee that would require all Illinois-regulated health insurance companies to offer flat-dollar co-pay plans for drug benefits. 

"Working families could better plan for their health care costs if they paid fixed out-of-pocket amounts for their prescribed medicine," Harris said. "I want to make sure plans are available that offer that option."

Currently, most health insurance plans have a structure for prescription drug copayments based on graduated tiers. For the highest levels of drugs, often called specialty care drugs, these plans usually use coinsurance – requiring patients to pay a percentage of the drug’s cost – rather than a copay.

House Bill 1745 would require at least 10% of individual plans and one group plan to have flat out-of-pocket payments by Jan. 1, 2023, and at least 25% of individual plans and two group plans to offer that benefit by Jan. 1, 2024.

"It’s hard to keep to a budget when you don’t know how much your medicine is going to cost from month to month," Harris said. “If we want to provide quality health care to all residents regardless of income, copayments are needed for every drug in Illinois.”

On Wednesday, House Bill 1745 was approved by the Senate Insurance Committee and now will head to the Senate floor for further discussion.