HB 5386 – An Act Concerning Health Insurance Coverage for Epinephrine Cartridge Injectors

Posted on May 3, 2022

This bill is a price control bill. It says “no policy…shall impose a coinsurance, copayment, deductible, or other out-of-pocket expense for the epinephrine cartridge injector…in an amount that is greater than $25.” The immediate outcome for the consumer is a $25 price, but that is not the whole story.

The cost gets apportioned to the employer’s claims experience and that claims experience dictates the increases to the employer premium, meaning premiums will rise for all of us. Price controls do NOT work to lower prices in the med or long run. Instead, they do a lot of harm by distorting the market.

Sixty-four percent of employers are self funded in CT which means that the fully- insured groups bear the collective burden for this since the state can’t dictate terms to self-funded employers. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, ERISA “preemption clause” voids all state laws to the extent that they relate to self-funded health plans. That means those of us with fully-funded health plans will see our premiums impacted the most by policies like this.

See this study from 2019 that reviewed Connecticut’s health insurance mandates and compared it with other states.

Politicians setting prices feels good for the politician and for the specific group that is helped, but overall premiums will rise further and that hurts everyone.

What’s a better solution? There’s no magic wand but to start on the journey of getting government out of medicine, health care and health insurance.

We must get back to free market principles driving costs down in a genuine and long term way.

While it’s not easy to vote against forcibly lowering prices for epi pens, we need politicians who will stop voting yes on price controls so that we can get to REAL affordability, not fake forced pricing, for all our healthcare needs. See the bigger picture. Remember Henry Hazlitt’s lessons on economics. This bill passed with 140 yeas vs 4 nays. I voted nay.

You can see how the House voted here.

The bill goes to the Senate next.