Poll: Voters Want Policy that Limits Non-Medical Switching
September 25, 2018
Voters want limits on non-medical switching – and they’re looking to legislators for policy solutions. A recent poll of 500 likely Texas voters revealed that people want consistent health plan coverage for their prescription medications and are more likely to support legislators who will protect that coverage.
Non-medical switching occurs when health plans drive patients to change their medication by increasing out-of-pocket costs or eliminating coverage for the medication entirely. It can have serious health consequences, especially for people who depend upon medication to treat a chronic condition.
Texans recognize that fact. According to poll results:
- 88% agree that patients should have consistent coverage of their medications
- 85% support legislation that ensures continuity of care, with 67% supporting it “strongly”
- 36% have directly, or through a personal relationship, experienced non-medical switching
- Nearly 7 out of 10 are more likely to support a candidate for the state legislature who backs legislation restricting non-medical switching.
Notably, concerns about non-medical switching transcended party lines:
- 82% of Republicans,
- 92% of Democrats, and
- 91% of independents support legislation to limit non-medical switching.
The poll was conducted by WPAi, a national polling organization, which held telephone interviews with 500 Texans from August 27 to August 29, 2018.
Concerns about non-medical switching aren’t limited to Texas. Several states have already taken steps toward addressing the practice. In July, Maine enacted a law that requires insurers to give 60 days’ notice to affected patients before changing the formulary of covered drugs. Insurers must also notify patients of their right to request an exemption.
Illinois followed suit in September. The state’s law similarly requires that insurers notify patients and provide details about the exemption process. It also allows for physicians to declare a prescription “medically necessary” for a given patient. Insurers must then continue their coverage of that medication, with no cost change to the patient through the end of the year.
To learn more about policies to limit non-medical switching, watch “Protecting Patients from Non-Medical Switching.”Tags: Non-Medical Switching
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