Health Care Bills to Keep An Eye On
By Kim Jones, Health Care for All WV, Statewide Coordinator
Health Care for All WV and our partners are eagerly watching a couple of really important bills this legislative session.
HB 4252 limits copays on insulin to $35 a month, limits copays on supplies like strips, lancets, meters, pump supplies to $100 a month, and limits copays on insulin pumps to $250 every two years. After three years of working on bills to bring affordable insulin and diabetic supplies to struggling West Virginians, this might be the year we see real and meaningful change! The bill was single-referenced in the House Health and Human Services Committee and passed out of that committee with a unanimous vote! It passed the House a few days later, and was sent to the Senate where it was single-referenced again to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee. We are asking for your help in contacting members of this committee, letting them know how important this bill is and urging them to vote for it. We are all very excited and hope you help us get the word out. We would like to thank the bipartisan group of delegates who have worked on this bill, especially Delegates Fleischauer and Rohrbach.
Another bill we know will be transformational to West Virginia families is HB 3001, the Medicaid Buy-In Bill. Here is a fact sheet on HB 3001 that West Virginians for Affordable Health Care has put together on this bill.
HB 3001, like HB 4252, is a bipartisan effort to ease the crippling financial burden of health care on the people of our state. This bill creates a Medicaid Buy-In program that will allow people to continue to move up the employment ladder without fear of losing their insurance coverage. This is called the “cliff effect.” It is when workers qualify for Medicaid but can’t take on more hours, a raise, or a better job because it will throw them off of their health insurance. HB 3001 will support our state’s workforce by letting them buy-in to the program.
We thank the sponsors and supporters of this bill, Delegates Worrell, Dean, Young, Wamsley, Pushkin, Storch, Fleischauer and Bates. The bill has been introduced in the House Health and Human Services Committee.
People shouldn’t have to turn down jobs because it will force them to go without needed health coverage. We believe this is a solution to a “glitch in the system” that has kept many people who want to get back to work from doing so.
To find out more, please read this Feb. 2nd report by the National Center for Coverage Innovation titled “How West Virginia Can Strengthen Work Incentives and Lower Families’ Health Care Costs Without Spending State Money”.