Assembly, Senate Health Committees Approve PBM Bill; Senate Committee Approves Five Others

On Thursday, February 11, the Senate and Assembly health committees passed AB 7/SB 3, companion versions of a bill authorizing the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to license and regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The Assembly committee passed the bill unanimously, while Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) was the only one to vote no on the Senate side.

While the provisions of the bills are consistent with similar legislation that stalled in the Senate last session, there have been some changes to the effective dates of the bill’s provisions. The effective date of the bill will be January 1, 2022, except for three provisions:

  • The gag clause language, as required in 632.861 (2), takes effect on the day after publication.
  • The cost sharing limitation, as required in 632.861 (3), takes effect on June 30, 2021.
  • The audits, as treated under 632.865(6), take effect on June 30, 2021.

At this time, the Senate is expected to take action on the bill next week, while the Assembly may not act on it until March. No amendments are expected at this time.

Senate Health Committee Considers Other Bills

In addition to reviewing the PBM reform bill, the Senate Committee on Health reviewed five other bills at a public hearing on Wednesday, February 10, and then voted on those bills in an executive session the following day. The committee considered the following bills:

  • SB 13: Allows dentists to administer certain vaccines (passed committee 5-0)
  • AB 4/SB 60: Allows pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students to administer vaccines (Senate Amendment 1 recommended 5-0, Senate Amendment 2 recommended 5-0, passed committee as amended 5-0)
  • SB 30: Permits pharmacists to prescribe certain contraceptives (passed committee 4-1)
  • SB 49: Requires the state to create and maintain an opioid and methamphetamine data system (passed committee 4-1)
  • SB 59: Increases annual funding for DHS grants to community health centers (passed committee 4-1)

These bills are now available for scheduling to face a full vote by the Senate.