Introduces Safe Step Act
Washington, DC (June 17, 2021) –Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has earned a Legislator of the Month Award from 60 Plus, the American Association of Senior Citizens.
At an event on Capitol Hill where Senator Murkowski received the award 60 Plus President Saul Anuzis said, “On behalf of more than five million senior citizen supporters we applaud Senator Murkowski for introducing S. 464, the Safe Step Act. This Bipartisan legislation would create 5 situations where a patient would be exempted from step therapy in employer-sponsored health plans by amending the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.”
60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin added, “Step therapy, along with prior authorization and formulary lists, are some of the tools used by payers in order to control skyrocketing drug costs. Patient groups and providers counter that they can delay care prescribed by a physician. With this legislation, health plans would be required to respond to all exception requests within 72 hours, or 24 hours if the patient’s life is at risk.
Anuzis added, “Ensuring timely access to clinically appropriate treatment is critical to the well-being of not only seniors but millions of Americans living with rheumatic diseases. Unfortunately, far too many patients encounter delays in accessing needed care due to restrictive insurer practices like step therapy. This legislation would put reasonable limits on insurers’ use of step therapy and create a clear and transparent process for patients and physicians to seek exceptions,” concluded Anuzis.
“This vital legislation has been overwhelming sponsored by members of both parties, clearly showing bipartisanship exists, we at 60 Plus decided to single out and honor Senator Murkowski, clearly one of the driving forces behind its introduction, Martin concluded.