What We're Reading: Eliminating Cost Sharing for Insulin; Economic Projections Scrapped; Returning to Work Recommendations

May 29, 2020

A bill introduced yesterday by Representative Maxine Waters, with support from the American Diabetes Association, would eliminate cost sharing for patients with diabetes requiring insulin amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic; White House officials have decided to not release economic projections this summer for the first time since the 1970s; CDC provides recommendations for employers returning to the workplace.

Bill Seeks to Eliminate Cost Sharing for Insulin

Representative Maxine Waters, D-California, with support from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), introduced a bill yesterday that would allow all insulin-dependent Medicare beneficiaries to obtain their prescriptions for insulin and related medical supplies with no co-payment, coinsurance, deductibles, or other cost sharing for the remainder of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Noted in a press release by the ADA, the organization called on all members of Congress to join the 25 original cosponsors of the bill, which would also ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can receive mail-in prescriptions for a 90-day supply. The move follows an announcement this week by CMS that would drop co-pays by 66% in 2021 for senior citizens who use insulin for diabetes and are enrolled in Medicare Advantage and certain Part D pharmaceutical plans, with co-pays additionally being capped at $35.

White House Will Not Release Economic Projections This Summer

In an unprecedented move, White House officials have decided to not release updated economic projections this summer, which would highlight the severe economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reported by The Washington Post, the White House typically reveals a federal budget proposal every February that is then followed by a midsession review in July or August. However, its decision to opt against providing these updated projections, which include economic trends such as unemployment, inflation, and economic growth, would be the first time since at least the 1970s that these midsession forecasts were not published.

CDC Provides Office Recommendations for Returning Employers

The CDC provided recommendations to US businesses returning to the workplace amid COVID-19, which include temperature and symptom checks at entry and 6 feet of distance between desks, according to The New York Times. The CDC says that if 6-feet distance is not possible, employers should consider attaching plastic shields around desks, and that face coverings should be worn at all times. The recommendations extend from technical advice on open windows to suggested removal of communal services such as latte makers and snack bins.