AUGUSTA – Today, at a virtual press conference, Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau introduced LD 1, An Act To Establish the COVID-19 Patient Bill of Rights. This legislation would require all Maine regulated health insurance companies to cover COVID-19 screening, testing and vaccination even after Maine’s state of emergency has ended.
“Where you live and how much money you make should never determine whether or not you can get the care you need, especially as our nation grapples with a deadly public health crisis. It goes against our values and it stands in the way of getting our state and country safely on the road to recovery,” said President Jackson. “We’ve introduced this measure as our first order of business because we believe in putting patients first and prioritizing the health and security of Maine people and businesses over megacorporations in this recovery.”
Under the COVID-19 Patient Bill of Rights, all health insurance plans regulated by the state of Maine would have to cover COVID-19 screening, testing and immunizations and waive all copays for these services. The measure also allows health care professionals to prescribe patients with up to 180-day supply of most medications during a state emergency and expands access to telehealth services.
“This bill is about making sure nothing prevents Mainers from getting the health care they need to protect themselves, their families and loved ones from this serious virus. These common sense changes to Maine law are desperately needed given what we’ve learned responding to COVID-19,” said Speaker Fecteau. “This is just step one to address the impact of COVID-19 on Maine families this legislative session.”
The proposal will be scheduled for a public hearing before the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee in the coming weeks.