Illinois passes law requiring insurance companies to cover EpiPen injections for children in historic first

Illinois passes law requiring insurance companies to cover EpiPen injections for children in historic first
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has signed off on legislation making his state the first in the nation to require insurance companies to provide coverage for children who require life-saving EpiPen injections.

“I was proud to sign two new laws expanding insurance coverage for children whose allergies require live-saving EpiPens and Illinoisans suffering from Lyme disease,” the Illinois Democrat tweeted Tuesday.

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“This legislation takes a big step forward in protecting our children and families,” he continued.

Under House Bill 3435, insurance companies are required to “provide coverage for medically necessary epinephrine injectors for persons 18 years of age or under.”

The bill states that the law will apply to a “group or individual policy of accident and health insurance or a managed care plan that is amended, delivered, issued, or renewed” after the legislation takes effect starting in January 2020.

According to CNN, the bill makes Illinois the first state in the country to enact such legislation.

The maker of EpiPens, Mylan, has come under scrutiny in recent years for sharp price increases for the device. 

Last year, the company paid a $465 million settlement following claims that it overcharged Medicaid for the emergency allergy treatment. 

The FDA approved a generic competitor, from Teva Pharmaceuticals, to the original EpiPen in a move that many believed would help lead to lower costs for consumers last year.

However, to the shock of many, the generic drug did not cost less than the Mylan brand drug upon its release in November.