Bill requiring insurance companies to cover EpiPen alternatives moves to Illinois House

Bill requiring insurance companies to cover EpiPen alternatives

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - A bill that would require insurance agencies to cover EpiPen alternatives passed the Illinois Senate and moved on to the House.

Under Senate Bill 2047, health insurance companies would have to cover generic alternatives for EpiPens. The brand EpiPen is a device used to give the drug epinephrine, which is life-saving medication used when someone has a severe allergic reaction. The drug can cost hundreds of dollars.

This bill, first introduced in the Illinois Senate by Sen. Sue Rezin, would require health insurance companies to offer generic alternatives for insulin auto-injectors.

Pharmacist Ben Calcaterra said that with the generic brands it can cut costs nearly in half as opposed to the name brand epinephrine drug if bought outright.

Calceterra said that the reason why generic brand epinephrine may not be covered by insurance agencies is that insurance providers may not receive a rebate on the generic forms of epinephrine.

He says that with this bill helps to better insure that those needing the drug will have options and therefore be able to purchase it at the lowest cost possible.

Calceterra believes this will help those needing epinephrine.

“It could be lifesaving because if someone is having a true anaphylactic reaction not having an EpiPen could result in death. Having an EpiPen could save someones life so its very important that these products are accessible to every patient that needs them,” he said.

SB2047 was first filed in February. It passed the Senate on April 4 and now moves on to the House for consideration.

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