Colleen Brunetti was among patient advocates who recently asked the Connecticut General Assembly to end copay accumulators in state-regulated insurance plans.

Colleen, chair of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) Board of Trustees, testified March 9 in support of a Connecticut bill to end the cost-shifting practice, which puts a higher burden on patients. PHA President and CEO Matt Granato provided written testimony in support of the legislation.

Copay accumulators allow insurance companies to shift health care costs to consumers. The practice allows insurance companies to take money from copay assistance programs or grants but not apply it toward deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums. For example, someone might use a copay card to assist with the costs of one PH therapy but would have to pay the full deductible when filling a second PH prescription.

Connecticut is among 31 states considering similar legislation. Kentucky enacted a law this year to ban the practice, also known as accumulator adjustment programs and other terms.

Colleen, who was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) 13 years ago when she was 28, is familiar with therapy-access challenges common to people with PH. Like many PHA members, she uses a copay card to defray the costs of her life-saving medications.

In 2018, her insurance company applied her copay card toward her high-deductible insurance plan. But in 2019, the insurance company stopped applying the card toward the deductible.

“All I know is how this hurt my family,” she says. “The issue here is what is happening right now to Connecticut families.”

If your health insurance company doesn’t apply your copay card or grant toward your deductible or out-of-pocket-maximum, let PHA know.

Find out how you can help end copay accumulators if your state. Contact Katie Kroner or call 301-565-3004 x749.