Last week, South Dakota became the latest state to improve consumer protections from excessively high physical therapy copays when Gov Dennis Daugaard signed House Bill 1183, legislation promoted by the South Dakota Chapter.
HB 1183 limits the amount a health insurer may charge a patient for an out-of-pocket copayment or coinsurance amount when he or she visits a physical therapist or occupational therapist. After the bill takes effect July 1, those copayment and coinsurance amounts cannot be higher than those charged when a patient visits a primary care physician or practitioner.
Health insurers often categorize physical therapy as a "specialty" service, and typically require higher copays than primary care services—sometimes as high as $60 or more for a single visit.
"Legislators saw that this bill was all about patient access and affordability," said Ronald Van Dyke, PT, OCS, president of the South Dakota Chapter. "They wanted to make sure the people of South Dakota could access the physical therapy and occupational therapy care they need at a fair cost."
Read more about House Bill 1183 in this APTA press release.
Last year, Kentucky enacted a similar copay protection law.