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Delaware Senate Democrats

Sens. Gay and Pinkney address the rising costs of care for chronic illnesses

June 22, 2022

DOVER — The Senate passed two bills on Wednesday that address the rising costs of care for individuals with chronic illnesses. Senate Bill 316, sponsored by Sen. Marie Pinkney, caps the amount that insurers can charge for diabetes equipment and supplies, and Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 301, sponsored by Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, provides a tax credit to organ and bone marrow donors.

Under Senate Bill 316, the amount that an individual, group, or State employee plan may charge for diabetes equipment and supplies, other than insulin, would be capped at $35 per month. These supplies include blood glucose meters and strips, urine testing strips, syringes, continuous glucose monitors and supplies, and insulin pump supplies.

“Diabetes care and maintenance is critical. Daily management of any chronic illness can be costly and time-intensive — but due to the need for frequent testing and monitoring, diabetes treatments have a way of adding up fast,” Sen. Pinkney said. “This legislation will help diabetes patients keep up with their treatment by removing financial barriers to care.”

Though Senate Bill 316 does not cover insulin, the 150th Delaware General Assembly passed House Bill 263, which capped the cost of insulin at $100 per month.

“The equipment and supplies required to treat diabetes are not optional. They keep people alive and healthy. It is unacceptable that there are currently people in our state who have to choose between the medicine they need and paying for other basic necessities of life,” said Rep. David Bentz, the prime House sponsor of SB 316 and HB 263. “With SB 316, we’re taking a stand to limit the cost of the supplies needed to treat diabetes and making it more affordable to those that need the care.”

SS1 for Senate Bill 301 would provide a tax credit of up to $10,000 to living organ and bone marrow donors to defray the costs associated with surgery and recovery. This tax credit covers unreimbursed medical expenses, travel expenses, lodging expenses, and lost wages that are related to a donation of an organ or bone marrow by the taxpayer or a dependent of the taxpayer.

“Countless brave and selfless Delawareans volunteer to be living donors. We should do everything we can to take finances off the table when it comes to making this critical decision,” Sen. Gay said. “By alleviating some of the burdens of live organ and bone marrow donation, this legislation will help to facilitate life-saving donations and make a difference in the lives of so many Delawareans.”

Under SS 1 for Senate Bill 301, a tax credit also would be available to Delaware employers who provide employees who donate an organ or bone marrow with paid time off for the purpose of the transplantation. That credit would equal 25% of the employee’s gross wages paid to the employee during the time missed from work, not including any amount paid to the person by the employer as traditional paid time off, for a period of up to 30 days of missed work for each donation.

“As a living organ donor, I’m aware of the shortage of people signed up to donate. We need to be doing everything we can to encourage more people to be organ donors, not put up barriers,” said House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, the House prime sponsor of SS 1 for SB 301. “This legislation will go a long way towards tearing down the barriers that can make organ donation economically impossible, and empower more Delawareans to make the life-saving decision to help someone in their greatest time of need.”

SB 316 and SS 1 for SB 301 now head to the House for consideration.