Those on medications will no longer have to go back to using drugs that failed to treat them when they change jobs, doctors or insurance providers. Governor Nixon has signed into law a bill that requires insurance companies to let Missourians remain on medications that stabilize them. It was sponsored by Representative Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg).
“Only patients and their doctors know what medicines will work best for them—not insurance companies,” says Hoskins. “When you have to go try a medicine that you’ve already tried once and it didn’t work the first time and you have to go through and try it again a second time, many times you’re going to miss work because you’re sick and don’t feel good or because you have to go back to the doctor or to the emergency room.”
Opponents argue that the legislation will increase insurance costs for patients, but Hoskins says the measure will save money.
“The insurance companies have a very powerful lobby and when they activate their lobby to try and kill a bill, it’s very tough in order to get a bill passed,” says Hoskins. “I think the cost of not being on the right medication, being sick and having to go to the emergency room and to the doctor’s office would be a lot more than just being able to be stabilized on the medicine that you’re currently on.”
The legislation passed both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly with broad, bipartisan support. The law goes into effect August 28th.
Similar legislation has been passed this year in other states, including Illinois, Indiana and West Virginia. New York, Ohio and North Carolina have similar measures pending.