“As a parent, I worry about my kids all the time,” said Conroy. “But no mom or dad should ever have to worry about being able to afford a device that could save their child’s life in the event of an emergency. That’s why I have fought to force insurance companies to put patients and children with serious medical conditions above the interest of profits. The safety of our kids is what’s most important and commonsense legislation like this moves Illinois in the right direction.”
House Bill 3435, effective Jan. 1, 2020, requires healthcare policies in Illinois to cover epinephrine autoinjectors for patients under 18 years of age. Epinephrine autoinjectors are a life-saving drug used to temporarily treat severe asthma or allergy attacks, often buying patients vital time to get to an emergency room. The cost of one of the most popular autoinjectors, EpiPens, increased nearly 500 percent since over the last decade at a current cost of $300 to over $600. Medications like EpiPens have a shelf life of about 18 months, requiring frequent replacements if not used.
“As food allergies become more common among our kids, Illinois law must evolve to better protect our kids’ health,” said Conroy. “Requiring health care providers to have EpiPen insurance coverage for minors is one step forward in guaranteeing affordable access to basic healthcare.”