Rosendale-Backed Rx Bill Advances In House

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By: Corin Cates-Carney

A plan for new regulations on insurance companies and their obscure contractors in the prescription drug supply chain is moving forward in the Montana Legislature.

The bill coming from State Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale would put new rules on the contracts between health insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs…

However, on the House floor Wednesday, Rep. Gordon Pierson, a Democrat from Deer Lodge, joined other lawmakers saying those deals can lead to unfair prices and profit making.

Senate Bill 71 already passed out of the Senate on a 37-13 vote. Pierson is carrying the bill in the House.

“Bottom line, Senate Bill 71 will save consumers money by lowering the cost of medications and insurance premiums, and provide more transparency in a highly complex industry,” Pierson says.

Senate Bill 71 only applies to individual health insurance plans in Montana, which make up about 7 percent of plans in the state. That means the bill would directly impact about 70,000 people, according to the State Insurance Commissioner’s Office…

Senate Bill 71 cleared its first vote on the House floor, Wednesday, 82-18. A final vote is expected in the coming days.

Read more from Montana Public Radio