Help Support Affordable Drugs for Kidney Patients

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People with kidney disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, or other conditions often depend on prescription drugs to address their symptoms and underlying illnesses. Sometimes, these drugs are very expensive. In an effort to make drugs more affordable to low-income and financially struggling patients, drug manufacturers have created copay assistance programs for consumers. Patients can use the copay assistance program to pay for the copay that their insurance requires for the drug. This is an issue that the American Kidney Fund has worked to support. Until recently, the amount of the copay provided by a copay assistance program counted towards the patient's out-of-pocket deductible under their health plan. Unfortunately, in the past few years a growing number of health insurance companies have changed their policies to prohibit the savings of these programs to count toward a patient's deductible. The change has created hardship on consumers and a windfall for insurers. Insurers refer to it as their "Accumulator Copay Policy."In 2021, Representatives Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced H.R. 5801, the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act. The bill requires health insurance companies to apply any financial assistance for prescriptions provided by drug manufacturers to count toward a patient's deductible. The bill would help make drugs more affordable for patients, and keep patients from having to choose between paying for their medicine or paying for rent and food.Please contact your representative today and ask them to cosponsor this important legislation.