ALBANY, NY – Before the New York State Legislature adjourns for the year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is asking lawmakers to act on two pieces of legislation that will help save lives and provide access to needed care.
One bill (S.906-A Sanders/A.2805-A Dinowitz), would assure that if a colonoscopy is needed as a follow-up to a home-based screening test, it should be considered as the next step in the preventive screening process and covered by health insurers with no additional cost sharing. The legislation is currently in Assembly Ways and Means; and the Senate Insurance Committee.
The other bill, commonly referred to as the Copay Accumulator bill (S5299 Rivera/A1741 Gottfried) will help patients struggling to pay for their medication. Some patients rely on financial assistance programs, such as a copay coupon or card, to reduce the cost of their medication. But insurers are using a new tactic – called a copay accumulator adjustment, to undermine these financial assistance programs. Copay accumulator adjustments prevent patients from using a copay card or coupon to cover their out-of-pocket expenses. Under this practice, when a patient uses a copay coupon or card, the health plan receives the payment from the card or coupon, yet the amount of the support provided by the coupon/card does NOT count toward the patient’s maximum out of pocket limit. This legislation would ensure such payments benefit the patient rather than the insurer’s bottom line.
“The clock is ticking. New Yorkers should not have to face the possibility of forgoing a possible life-saving colonoscopy because they do not have the resources to pay for it,” said ACS CAN Senior New York Government Relations Director Julie Hart.
“Copay accumulators are misleading for patients. It’s especially challenging for patients with high deductibles or high copayments. Ten states have now passed laws to stop insurers from using copay accumulators. It’s time for New York to do the same and stop this misleading tactic.”
About ACS CAN at 20
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.