Affordable Medicaid Buy-in and Insulin Bills Need Your Help to Become Law!

These issues need your action today!

Affordable Medicaid Buy-in Making Its Way to the Senate!

SB 610 (and HB 3274 that passed in the full House 73-19) will create a new more affordable health insurance option that is targeted to lower income West Virginians moving off Medicaid.  It will address a major barrier to work for low-wage workers who want to climb up the economic ladder.  And the new plan won’t cost the state a penny.

When workers have an opportunity to earn a higher income that would put them slightly above current Medicaid eligibility levels (due to additional hours or a raise or promotion for example), they face higher health insurance and health care costs that more than cancel out the pay increase they receive.  This loss of eligibility and resulting higher health insurance premiums and copays is often referred to as the “Medicaid Cliff.”  Hitting this cliff leaves workers financially worse off or uninsured.

Many West Virginia workers “churn” on and off Medicaid as their income fluctuates from month to month (for example if they are given more work hours during the holiday season or have seasonal changes in income such as experienced by small farming operations or small businesses). Gaps in coverage hurt families and hurt health care providers. SB 610 will help tens of thousands of these West Virginians keep working and stay insured. 

Please check out these articles on this exciting bill.

Article #1

Article #2

We need your help. Tell Senator Maroney, chair of the Senate Health and Human Resource Committee, that thousands of people will be able to keep their vital health coverage with this bill and to get it passed this year!!

Why Do We Need Laws to Protect Our Diabetic Loved Ones?

Eli Lilly just announced today that it would create a copay cap of $35 for their insulin. This is a step in the right direction. But they only provide roughly a third of the insulin to the 37 million Americans who rely on it. It won’t fix the problem for everyone. So why do we still need legislation on state and federal levels to control price gouging in pharmaceuticals? 

Because companies can change their minds. Laws aren’t changed so easily. Do we trust a company that has made billions and billions of dollars from diabetics in America, and bilked our public health programs of even more? We believe they are announcing this to stop state and federal copay caps that they won’t be able to control from passing in legislative sessions across the country. Our neighbors in Maryland and Kentucky have made protecting their people a priority and passed copay caps on insulin.

One of those bills is West Virginia’s SB 577. This bill would put a copay cap of $35 on insulin and $100 for supplies for those who are covered by traditional insurance. Eli Lilly’s decision should not affect the trajectory of these bills. We are also seeking help on the very expensive supplies diabetics have to pay for beside insulin like test strips and continuous glucose monitors.

SB 577 is on its first reading on the House Floor on Wednesday.

We want to thank Chairperson Amy Summers (R-Taylor) for putting the bill on the agenda of the Health and Human Services Committee and for those who voted for this long-awaited relief for West Virginia’s thousands of diabetics. 

We need to get calls into key representatives.

It is very important to get these calls in. They can make all the difference!

Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) Clay Co. – (304) 340-3210

Majority Leader Eric Householder (R) Berkeley – (304) 340-3220 

Deputy Speaker Rohrbach (R-Cabell)- (304) 340-3221

Please follow this link and contact your representatives via email to let them know that this bill is vitally important to you and your diabetic loved ones. Thank you!

Sad news for Dental Bill

SB 269 was unable to make it out of committee in time to continue the path towards becoming a reality. The additional $1,000 of preventative dental care is so beneficial to the overall health of West Virginia that we can expect a similar bill to pop up next year. So while this battle is lost, the war is not over.

Best of health to you and your loved ones,

Kim Jones

Coalition Coordinator
Health Care for All WV

Health care is vitally important to all of us, our loved ones, and our communities.

Join us as we work to move state and federal policies to improve health care access, affordability and equity for all in West Virginia.

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Health Care For All WV is a coalition campaign made up of
West Virginians for Affordable Health CareWest Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, and West Virginia Citizen Action Education Fund.

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