Today, Aimed Alliance sent letters on behalf of several patient advocacy groups and professional associations to UnitedHealthcare (UHC) and WEA Trust, asking the health plans not to implement copay accumulator programs. Copay accumulator programs are health insurance policies that prohibit copay assistance from counting toward the plan enrollees’ deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums.
Both UHC and WEA Trust intend to adopt copay accumulator programs for prescription medications that are offered as part of the plans’ medical benefits. Medications offered as a medical benefit are typically physician administered medications, such as infusions and injections. They tend to treat serious conditions, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, bleeding disorders, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few. In the letters, we encouraged the health plans not to implement such policies because copay accumulator programs can reduce patients’ ability to access and afford life-saving treatments.
“It is the wrong time to implement a copay accumulator program, especially because many of the conditions that these medications treat place patients at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19,” said Aimed Alliance counsel Stacey Worthy. “These patients need to be able to remain on their current treatment program unless their health care practitioner tells them otherwise, but a copay accumulator program could jeopardize access to that treatment.”