PEORIA, Ill. — Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law, Friday, that will cap monthly out-of-pocket insulin costs at a steady $100 for a 30-day supply. This is a decision the governor called a “legislative celebration.”
“We have successfully made Illinois the nation’s third state to put patients above profit,” Gov. Pritzker said.
The new measure by the state also has local health officials saying it’s about time. Dr. Gregg Stoner, Chief Medical Officer for Heartland Health Services, said this decision was a long overdue.
“I think this is a great relief for many of our patients because the cost has gone up and skyrocketed over the last few years,” Dr. Stoner said.
“Skyrocketed” might be a generous term as Dr. Stoner said he’s seen some patients pay close to $1,000 for the life-saving medication; sometimes forcing them to choose between health and life’s essentials.
“It’s, now, not uncommon to have people spend $700 or $800 a month on their insulin,” Dr. Stoner said. “If they have to do that they can’t afford sometimes to do other vital things for their life as far as food and housing and other things that they need.”
Josie Edlefson, who has type 1 diabetes, said she can’t the price of insulin being a barrier between her and survival.
“It’s hard to think that if I didn’t have insulin or if I didn’t have enough money to pay for it, I wouldn’t be alive,” Edlefson said.
Gov. Pritzker said the law, which goes into effect in 2021, only applies to those covered by state-regulated commercial health services.
However, Dr. Stoner said he’s happy many of the 1.3 million individuals with diabetes in the state can financially breathe a little easier.
“We think this is a really important legislation and we’re really happy to see this for our patients,” Dr. Stoner said.