Press release

American Kidney Fund Thanks Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for Signing Pro-patient Legislation that Protects Copay Assistance

ROCKVILLE, Md. (August 10, 2020)  — The American Kidney Fund (AKF), the nation's leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, applauds the passage of Georgia House Bill 946 into law with its signing by Gov. Brian Kemp. The new law will help decrease out-of-pocket spending costs for patients with chronic diseases, including kidney disease.

The law is a comprehensive pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reform package that includes an important provision that will ensure insurance companies and PBMs cannot implement harmful copay accumulator policies. Accumulator policies shift drug costs to patients when health plans and PBMs prevent a patient's copay assistance amount from counting toward their deductible and maximum out-of-pocket cap.

Georgia is the fifth state to require health plans and PBMs to apply third-party financial help, such as co-pay assistance cards and drug manufacturer coupons, or assistance from foundations or charitable institutions, toward deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

"For many patients, copay assistance programs are the only way they can afford the care they need, and we're grateful that the Georgia state legislature and Governor Kemp are doing something about harmful copay accumulator policies," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. "With the pandemic still looming, and the cost of health care rising, we need more of this type of legislative leadership to help protect Americans with chronic illness and communities that are at risk for COVID-19.

Research shows that copay accumulator policies have a negative impact on patients' adherence to medications. When patients cannot afford their medications, they face worsening health, disease progression and the potential for significantly increased health care costs.

AKF been working with state lawmakers, providers and patient organizations across the country to urge the passage of laws that ban copay accumulator policies. AKF is a member of the All Copays Count Coalition steering committee and co-chairs its state-level subgroup of the coalition. 

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.

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