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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Cost of insulin capped while state studies reason for inflation

OLYMPIA – Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic, waits debate to start during the last week of the 2020 session. (Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA – Health insurance plans will have to limit a person’s out-of-pocket costs for a month’s supply of insulin to $100, under a bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday.

“Some people have paid upward of $2,000 for a monthly supply of insulin,” said Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic, the bill’s sponsor. “When this is a life-saving drug, we need to know why this cost is going up so much.”

The cap on insulin costs expires after two years.

The bill also creates a work group responsible for analyzing why the cost of insulin has increased substantially and to develop strategies to reduce the cost for Washington’s families and residents.

Coverage for prescribed insulin drugs won’t be subjected to a deductible, under the bill.

Maycumber’s son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year, prompting her to look into the high cost of insulin and what state leaders needed to do to support patients who need it to live.

“We need to stop this inflation until we can see what part of the market is causing this increase,” Maycumber said.

Among other bills signed Friday:

    SB 5147 eliminates the so-called pink tax placed on feminine hygiene products such as pads, tampons and menstrual cups.

    HB 2327 requires colleges and universities to complete sexual misconduct investigations and maintain them in their records. Institutions also must have potential employees declare whether they’re the subject of an investigation and explain the details.

    HB 2441 requires reduction of a family’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash grant if they haven’t complied with work requirements for two months.

    HB 2277 prohibits solitary confinement for longer than 15 minutes in juvenile detention facilities but allows room for some confinement and isolation for a maximum of four hours each day.

    HB 2455 redefines Working Connections Child Care requirements to expand eligibility to parents attending high school or working to receive a GED. It also requires school districts to allow eligible parents to have their infants on a school bus or other transportation provided.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had the wrong reporter’s name in the byline.