Help get AZ SB 1401 passed. Arizona Patients Need Your Help!

Help get AZ SB 1401 passed. Arizona Patients Need Your Help!
February 9, 2012 at 1:51pm

Update: 2/17/2012: SB1401 will likely go the the senate floor next week. We need you to write or call to the senators before Tuesday 2/21/12. .
SENATOR Phone Email Party District
PIERCE, Steve 602-926-5584 spierce@azleg.gov R 1
JACKSON, Jack 602-926-5862 jjackson@azleg.gov D 2
GOULD, Ron 602-926-4138 rgould@azleg.gov R 3
BURGES, Judy 602-926-5861 jburges@azleg.gov R 4
ALLEN, Sylvia 602-926-5219 sallen@azleg.gov R 5
KLEIN, Lori 602-926-5284 lklein@azleg.gov R 6
BARTO, Nancy 602-926-5766 nbarto@azleg.gov R 7
REAGAN, Michele 602-926-5828 mreagan@azleg.gov R 8
MURPHY, Rick 602-926-4444 rmurphy@azleg.gov R 9
GRAY, Linda 602-926-3376 lgray@azleg.gov R 10
DRIGGS, Adam 602-926-3016 adriggs@azleg.gov R 11
NELSON, John 602-926-5872 jnelson@azleg.gov R 12
GALLARDO, Steve 602-926-5830 sgallardo@azleg.gov D 13
MEZA, Robert 602-926-3425 rmeza@azleg.gov D 14
LUJAN, David 602-926-5058 dlujan@azleg.gov D 15
LANDRUM TAYLOR, Leah 602-926-3830 llandrumtaylor@azleg.gov D 16
SCHAPIRA, David 602-926-3028 dschapira@azleg.gov D 17
LEWIS, Jerry 602-926-5760 jlewis@azleg.gov R 18
CRANDALL, Rich 602-926-3020 rcrandall@azleg.gov R 19
McCOMISH, John 602-926-5898 jmccomish@azleg.gov R 20
YARBROUGH, Steve 602-926-5863 syarborough@azleg.gov R 21
BIGGS, Andy 602-926-4371 abiggs@azleg.gov R 22
SMITH, Steve 602-926-5685 stevesmith@azleg.gov R 23
SHOOTER, Don 602-926-4139 dshooter@azleg.gov R 24
GRIFFIN, Gail 602-926-5895 ggriffin@azleg.gov R 25
MELVIN, Al 602-926-4326 amelvin@azleg.gov R 26
CAJERO BEDFORD, Olivia 602-926-5835 ocajerobedford@azleg.gov D 27
ABOUD, Paula 602-926-5262 paboud@azleg.gov D 28
LOPEZ, Linda 602-926-4089 llopez@azleg.gov D 29
ANTENORI, Frank 602-926-5683 fantenori@azleg.gov R 30

Arizona Patients Need Your Help!
The Cost Sharing/Out of Pocket Cost bill that the Arizona Alliance for Chronic Care Coalition (chaired by the AZ Hemophilia Association) has been working on for the past year is up in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Tuesday, February 14 at 2:00 PM. SB 1401 does the following:
Health plans are not able to change biologics or plasma derived prescription drugs to a higher drug tier during the term of the evidence of coverage. If during the next open enrollment a biologic or plasma derived therapy does have a tier increase health plans must give the patient 60 days notice.
If a health care service plan contract requires co-insurance, requires a co-payment or provides for a limit on the annual out-of-pocket expenses, the enrollee’s out-of-pocket costs of covered prescription drugs and major medical shall be included in that limit.
If a health care service plan contract provides for a limit on the annual out-of-pocket expenses, the total out-of-pocket costs for major medical and prescription drug coverage in a policy year shall not exceed $3,000 per individual and $5,000 per family.
Hoping you can write letters of support, make support calls and/or testify at the hearing. Since AZ is such a pro-business, heavy Republican state it may help if business/economic arguments are made similar to the attached letter of support from the Neuropathy Action Foundation. The Committee Member contact info is as follows:
____________________________________________________________________________
Here is a sample letter. PLEASE UPDATE IT TO YOUR LIKING!

RE: SB 1401 – ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Dear Honorable Senator,

I support the SB 1401, which makes access to biologics and plasma therapies more affordable, accessible and predictable by prohibiting insurers from increasing drug tiers during a contract period and requiring a sixty-day notice to patients if a drug is reclassified. SB 1401 also clarifies that the total out-of-pocket costs for major medical and prescription drug coverage in a policy year shall not exceed $3,000 per individual and $5,000 per family.

I am showing my support for the SB 1401 bill because it will prohibit insurers from increasing out of pocket costs for patients’ mid-year unpredictably and arbitrarily. This bill will better allow Arizonans to predict that their out of pocket cost will be at the time they enter into the contract. This will allow patients to budget for healthcare costs and better communication with their providers on treatment issues related to financial aspects.

SB 1401 addresses the problems of step therapy by specifically focusing on patients to highlight the inadequacies of the practice because a patient can tell immediately whether a medication is working or not, and they should not be forced to stay on medicine which does not improve their condition. Passing SB 1401 will help hard-working insured Arizonans obtain needed medications. The state will avoid increased emergency room visits, hospitalizations, lost wages, unemployment and medical debt. Maintaining affordable medication costs helps keep Arizonans healthy enough to work and contribute to their families and the state’s fiscal health.

(your story)… (ex: If this bill doesn’t pass I will be forced to go on state access to get my monthly medications that keep me out a wheelchair and out of the hospital, costing the state an increased financial burden.)

I am also supporting SB 1401 to shed light on the unethical treatment of pain patients, especially women, minorities and economically disadvantaged patients, whom studies have shown are either disproportionately undertreated, or go untreated for pain. I urge you to also support SB 1401 when it comes up for vote in the Senate. Should you have questions please contact me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Sincerely,
xxxxx

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