Illinois orders health insurers to cover cost of life-saving device for kids

Illinois became the first state to require health insurance companies to cover the costs of EpiPens and similar devices for kids under a new state law.

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The new law takes effect on Jan. 1, but questions still remain about whether it would lead to lower costs, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Under the bill, which was signed into law last week by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, insurers will be required to cover EpiPen and similar devices to children 18 and under. The EpiPen, the most well-known of the devices, is a life-saving auto-injector containing epinephrine and is used to treat allergic reactions.

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However, many insurers already cover the auto-injector and some people may still face high out-of-pocket costs depending on the deductible associated with their insurance plan.

The price of EpiPen, which costs less than $2 to produce, can be as much as $700 for those without insurance, according to the governor's office.