Senator Addabbo champions legislation to enhance healthcare access for individuals with bleeding disorders

Senator Joseph Addabbo
Photo courtesy of the Office of Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr, has co-sponsored two pieces of legislation to help give people living with bleeding disorders easier access to healthcare and enforce additional accountability from insurance companies.

Bleeding disorders prevent the blood cells in a person’s body from clotting, causing a series of issues that include heavy bleeding from a small cut, easy bruising, and life-threatening complications, according to the American Society of Hematology.

The passage of the co-sponsored legislation (S.1267 & S.3400) would enact limitations on the use of Step Therapy by insurance providers — prolonging a patient’s access to covered medicines — and the use of the pre-authorization approval process for prescriptions.

In New York, up to 1 in 100 people have a bleeding disorder, but many are undiagnosed or fail to receive the proper treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Undiagnosed treatment could lead to long-term health problems.

Lawmakers are attempting to limit the use of Step Therapy by health insurance providers as a process to determine if treatment is necessary. The passage of bill S.1267 limits health plans from requiring patients to go through the vigorous process of trying multiple medicines before being covered by their insurance provider.

The pre-authorization process of prescription medicines is also limited in S.3400, which often leads to longer periods where patients go untreated. The process would allow any pre-authorization obtained by a medical professional to last up to one year.

Addabbo joins advocates from the New York State Bleeding Disorders Coalition in highlighting the healthcare discrepancies towards people who live with bleeding disorders.

“By raising awareness, we can make a difference and help build a brighter future for all people impacted by bleeding disorders,” said Addabbo.

The Senate passed the Step Therapy Bill (S.1267) on Jan. 30, 2024, but it is still under consideration in the Assembly Insurance Committee. S.3400, is pending action in Senate Finance and Assembly Insurance Committees.