Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2020) – Randall Rutta, President and CEO of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, released the following statement on HHS’ decision to move forward with a rule that allows health insurers not to count copay assistance toward out-of-pocket maximum limits for medications:
“On behalf of millions of patients living with autoimmune and chronic diseases, their families, and the healthcare professionals who care for them, we are deeply disappointed by the Administration’s finalization of the 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters. Specifically, allowing health insurers to not count copay assistance support from drug manufacturers towards patient annual cost-sharing limitations is harmful at a time when so many people are struggling personally and financially. We should be doing everything we can to ensure that patients have affordable access to the medicines they need. This move is counterproductive for millions of patients and families.
“AARDA opposed the proposed reversal earlier this year, urging HHS to retain the copay assistance policy that helps patients cover out-of-pocket costs for medicines, allowing them the ability to maintain stability in health conditions, avoid exacerbations or relapses, and achieve continuity of care. We strongly believe now, as we did then, that patients should not be punished for accessing such assistance.
“We urge the Administration to reconsider its decision and recognize the reversal will cause unnecessary hardships and risks to health and wellness. We will continue to work with CMS and policymakers to highlight the importance of changing course on this rule.
“Now more than ever, those dealing with serious, rare, and chronic conditions need assurance that they can access necessary medications without unnecessary costs. Refusing to count copay assistance from drug manufacturers toward out-of-pocket cost limits will result in major health setbacks and unmanageable financial burden for millions. In the midst of a global pandemic, patients deserve better from Washington.”