2019 Delaware End of Session Summary

Tobacco Control

The DE General Assembly passed Senate Bill (SB) 25, Substitute 1, (Tobacco 21) which prohibits sales of tobacco products and tobacco substitutes to individuals under the age of 21 in early spring 2020. ACS CAN fully supported the bill. The bill was signed by Governor Carney April 17 at our DE Day at the Capitol. The Tobacco 21 legislation will take effect July 16, 2019.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

House Bill (HB) 79, requiring restaurants to serve healthy beverages as the default beverage in kid’s meals passed the General Assembly in late June 2019. ACS CAN supported this bill with coalition partners such as the American Heart Association, Medical Society of DE and the American Academy Pediatrics. The bill awaits Governor Carney’s signature and will take effect 12 months after enactment. Governor Carney is expected to sign the bill in July 2019.

 

Access to Care

House Bill (HB) 105, House Substitute 1, creates a Step Therapy Exception Process whereby patients who are required by their insurance company to go through step therapy protocols can, under certain circumstances, bypass step therapy to obtain the initially-prescribed medication. This bill was fully supported by ACS CAN. Governor Carney signed the bill on June 18, 2019. The bill will take effect 9 months after being signed into law (April 2020).

The DE General Assembly passed Senate Bill (SB) 35, which revises Delaware Insurance Code provisions related to the individual and group health insurance markets to directly incorporate into Delaware law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections related to the following: (1) The prohibition of preexisting condition provisions, (2) Guaranteed issue and availability of coverage, (3) Permissible rating factors. This Act also ties references in Delaware law to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as it was in effect on January 1, 2018. ACS CAN supported this bill but took exception to the tobacco rating permissible under ACA. The bill awaits Governor Carney’s signature and will take effect immediately upon being signed into law. Governor Carney is expected to sign.

House Bill (HB) 24, prohibits insurers and pharmacy benefit managers from engaging in the practice of "clawbacks". When the total cost of a prescription drug to an insurer or pharmacy benefits manager is less than a patient's co-pay, the insurer or pharmacy benefits manager can no longer keep the difference in a practice known as a "clawback". The consumer must pay the lowest cost. ACS CAN supported this bill. Governor Carney signed the bill on June 19, 2019 and it will take effect with individual and group policies in effective January 1, 2020.

 

Governor Carney has signed House Bill (HB) 193, the enabling legislation for DE to submit a 1332 waiver to CMMS. ACS CAN supported the 1332 waiver application. The Act creates the Delaware Health Insurance Individual Market Stabilization Reinsurance Program & Fund which will be administered by the Delaware Health Care Commission in order to provide reinsurance to health insurance carriers that offer individual health benefit plans in Delaware. The Program will be funded with pass through funds received from the federal government under the Affordable Care Act, funds provided by the Federal Government for reinsurance, and through a 2.75% annual assessment based on insurance carrier’s premium tax liability.