Letters to the Editor

Legislative bills would stop health plan switch

Did you know that your health insurance company can abruptly change your prescription coverage and even eliminate life-saving medications you are taking?

While your family is likely locked into a health plan for the rest of the year, your insurer is free to stop covering the medications and/or raise your out-of-pocket costs at any time.

Fortunately, Senate Bill 182/House Bill 95 — proposed legislation now making its way through the Florida Legislature — would put a stop to this bait and switch.

While the bill still allows health plans to introduce newly FDA-approved therapies and generic options, it stops the plans from making unfair coverage changes during the policy year that may force Floridians off of the safe, effective medications that their physicians have prescribed.

Under the proposal, if health plans want to make coverage changes, they can — but not while your policy is active. As consumers, we can then decide if we want to renew with that changed plan or shop for another one.

Insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers don’t want you to have that choice.

They are trying to defeat the legislation with false information and misleading statements, and by saying they know what’s best for Florida’s consumers.

When changes in insurance coverage force people to switch medications, it can cause serious health and financial consequences, especially for Floridians living with conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, and mental illness.

That’s why 39 healthcare groups across the state are asking lawmakers to enact Senate Bill 182. Floridians should as well.

Michael Ruppal,

executive director,

The AIDS Institute,

Tampa

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