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Illinois passes resolutions to examine the cost of phototherapy copays for psoriasis

HR1171 and SR0792 urge Department of Insurance to study out-of-pocket phototherapy costs of psoriasis patients

With the leadership of Illinois lawmakers, State Senator Maggie Crotty (D-19th) and State Representative Lou Lang (D-16th), the Illinois General Assembly passed two resolutions—one each in the Senate and the House of Representatives—urging the state's Department of Insurance to study how out-of-pocket costs for phototherapy treatment affects patients. Sen. Crotty sponsored SR0792 in the Senate and Rep. Lang sponsored HR1171 in the House of Representatives. The landmark study will establish data needed to lay the groundwork for state legislation to curb soaring copay costs for psoriasis patients.

Phototherapy or ultraviolet light therapy is a safe, effective and commonly prescribed first-line treatment for psoriasis—the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans and approximately 325,000 Illinois residents. A recent National Psoriasis Foundation survey found that phototherapy costs are unaffordable for many people. Insurance companies require copayments as high as $50 per treatment, and a patient typically requires three treatments a week for 12 or more weeks, creating out-of-pocket costs of $600 a month.

The adoption of these resolutions in Illinois is an important milestone in the National Psoriasis Foundation efforts to ease the burden of high copayments for psoriasis phototherapy.

Learn more about the Psoriasis Foundation's advocacy efforts in Illinois »

May 30, 2010