Senate Committee Endorses Copayment Protection Measure

HARRISBURG — The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee passed a proposal today that would protect consumers from paying multiple copayments for physical therapy, chiropractic and occupational therapy services.

Senate Bill 487, sponsored by Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-10), would prohibit a health insurance policy from charging a consumer more than one copayment amount per visit. The bill would also prohibit policies from depleting more than one visit for services provided on a given date.

“Although existing law mandates coverage for certain types of procedures, many healthcare plans inappropriately shift the financial burden for services to the consumer through the use of multiple copayments,” McIlhinney said. “This practice creates a serious financial burden on patients and may restrict access to much-needed services, so it is extremely important to close this expensive loophole that is currently being exploited by some insurers.”

The bill allows the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance to develop regulations relating to multiple copayments. Violators would be subjected to penalties prescribed in the Unfair Insurance Practices Act.

The Senate unanimously passed similar legislation sponsored by McIlhinney last year. Senate Bill 487 was sent to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Heather Cevasco (215) 489-5000