In February 2023, the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act (H.R. 830), bipartisan federal legislation that would prohibit the use of copay accumulator programs, was reintroduced to Congress. The bill would require health plans and PBMs to count the value of copay assistance that patients receive toward their cost-sharing requirements, and it would apply to individual, small-group and employer-sponsored health plans.
Copay accumulators work by preventing any monetary assistance that pharmaceutical companies offer commercially insured patients from counting toward their deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. Another common practice, copay maximizers, takes the total amount of a manufacturer’s copay offset program and divides it by 12, making that amount the new monthly copayment on any given drug over the course of a year.