Aril 12, 2022- This morning AIM president and CEO Ray McCarty testified in opposition against SB 921 and HB 1677. These two bills would force insurers to pay for drugs at any pharmacy, not just those "in network."
HB 1677 and SB 921 would eliminate the ability of insurers to negotiate prices with in-network pharmacies by requiring they honor the same prices with pharmacies that are not in their network. This “any willing provider” language will lead to increased drug costs as pharmacies would have no incentive to negotiate lower prices on drugs in exchange for the volume of business generated by the arrangement.
Allowing the free market to work through arrangements between health insurers and in-network pharmacies is the best way to provide low-cost healthcare to Missourians.
"This particular provision of the bill is very troubling to Missouri businesses who are trying their best to continue providing health coverage to their employees, either through insurance, or directly through self-insurance," said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. "Eliminating the incentive to negotiate rates will cause pharmaceutical costs and the cost of healthcare overall to increase," he said.
The committee took no action during the hearing.