By State Representative Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc)
Senator Alberta Darling and I recently introduced Koreen's Law (Assembly Bill 718) a critical legislative proposal to help ensure patients have access to life-saving medication. It is named after a patient, Koreen, who went through a traumatic experience while undergoing chemotherapy.
Seven months into her treatment, Koreen and her husband were told their insurance company would no longer cover the cost of her medication, which was vital to her treatment, because the company implemented a new “white bagging” policy that dictated where -- and from which provider – she could obtain her medication.
More specifically, white bagging is a practice by insurance companies that requires patients to obtain their clinician-administered drugs by a specialty pharmacy selected by the insurance company, rather than the patient’s local care provider. While their care provider and local pharmacy remain in-network for most things, an insurance company picks and chooses certain drugs that will then become out-of-network resulting in patients experiencing more confusion, cost, and disrupted care. For patients to keep their providers, they would be required to pay the costs associated with receiving out-of-network care.
On behalf of Koreen, her husband Nate, her family, and many other patients across Wisconsin, I am happy to author Koreen’s Law to prohibit health insurance companies from mandating the practice of white bagging. To better understand the impacts of white bagging on Wisconsin patients and providers, please visit www.PatientsFirstWI.com.
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