Gov. Hochul on Tuesday proposed a plan to broadly wipe out some New Yorkers’ out-of-pocket insurance co-payments for insulin, the ubiquitous but sometimes pricey diabetes treatment.
The plan would cover New Yorkers on state-regulated insurance plans and would amount to the strongest ban on insulin cost-sharing in the U.S., saving New Yorkers $14 million in 2025 alone, according to the governor’s office.
About 21% of New Yorkers have health insurance regulated by the state’s Financial Services Department, according to government data.
“This will be the most expansive — most expansive — insulin cost-sharing prohibition in the nation,” Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat, said at a news conference in Manhattan.
New York officials moved to put curbs on insulin costs last year. State Attorney General Letitia James reached agreements with three major insulin manufacturers to cap monthly insulin subscriptions for uninsured New Yorkers at $35.
And lawmakers sought to limit costs for the insured. One bill, which passed the state Senate but not the Assembly last year, would cap per-month insulin payment cost-sharing at $30 for insured patients, down from $100.
About 1.6 million New Yorkers are diagnosed with diabetes, according to Hochul’s office.
On Tuesday, she also outlined other initiatives to be fleshed out in 2024, including an expansion of paid medical and disability leave benefits and enhancements in consumer protections in New York.
The proposals set the tone for negotiations with lawmakers during this year’s legislative session in Albany. The governor is expected to roll out more plans this week ahead of her speech.
She seemed to signal Tuesday that she would save any housing plans — a closely watched issue —for the address itself.
“The State of the State is next Tuesday,” Hochul said at the news conference, shrugging off a question about housing, but then adding that she is focused on “supply.”
Last year, Hochul dropped an ambitious housing-creation program from state budget negotiations with lawmakers, a humbling concession on a pressing issue.
“We are approaching this once again,” she told reporters. “We build more supply, prices go down, more people will stay.”