In 2016, an analysis by the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that, between the years of 2002 and 2016, insulin prices tripled. In an attempt to stop the rising insulin prices, Washington State has passed a law capping the cost of insulin copays at $100 a month. The law was filed in late 2019, and was passed by the state legislature in March of 2020. Gov. Jay Inslee officially signed the law in April 2020 to be effective beginning January 2021.
Thanks to this new law, health plans issued or renewed in January 2021 must cap insulin copays at $100 a month for a 30-day supply, including high deductible health plans. This will make it much easier for the 226,300 diabetic Washingtonians who rely on insulin to afford it. Having affordable insulin decreases the amount of insulin rationing diabetics may have to face and therefore saves lives. This is especially important today, as COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and diabetic individuals are at especially high risk of COVID-19 complications.
The copay cap will last through 2022, when Washington State will ultimately need to decide on new insulin cost-reducing measures.