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As Californians living with chronic diseases (Nina with interstitial cystitis and Caitlyn with rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), we are grateful for the opportunity to express support for AB 2180. This legislation is crucial in banning harmful copay accumulator programs that directly impact thousands of patients like us across the state.

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that consists of recurring pain, urinary urgency, and frequency — impacting more than 50 million Americans. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which attacks many joints at once.

For us, living with these conditions is already challenging, and managing the financial aspect of treatment shouldn't add to the burden.

AB 2180 is a step in the right direction to ensure that all payments, including those from third-party sources, count towards Californians' total cost-sharing requirements. Many of us rely on copay assistance to afford the medications necessary to manage our conditions effectively.

It's disheartening to see insurers implement programs that disregard third-party copay assistance, effectively doubling the financial strain on chronic disease patients. These programs not only hinder our ability to access essential medications but also discourage charitable assistance for future patients. Pharmaceutical manufacturers often provide copay coupons or manufacturer copay cards to support patients, but these programs are rendered ineffective by copay accumulator programs.

By prohibiting copay accumulator programs, AB 2180 would alleviate the excessive financial burden placed on chronic disease patients like us. This legislation ensures that copay assistance counts towards our deductibles, making it easier for us to afford coverage until insurance benefits kick in. Copay accumulator programs only serve to exacerbate our already substantial out-of-pocket costs, compounding the challenges we face due to our diagnoses.

If passed this year, AB 2180 will be invaluable in safeguarding the well-being of chronic disease patients across California.