As job-creators and advocates for Arizona’s business community, representing hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of employees, we are writing to express serious concerns with SB 1161, a bill that will dramatically increase health care costs for employers and hardworking employees.
SB 1161 seeks to mandate how and where health insurance, particularly prescription drug coverage, can be offered in Arizona.
Employers have repeatedly voiced that they are constantly trying to balance their responsibility of providing quality health benefits for their employees against ever-rising health care costs. If passed, SB 1161 would exacerbate this challenge by barring private businesses from offering certain types of lower cost prescription drug coverage. This, in turn, would lead to higher costs for employers and increased premiums and copays – but fewer choices – for their valued employees.
Employers partner with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to ensure hardworking employees and their families have affordable yet convenient options for filling their prescription and often critically necessary medications. SB 1161 will impose excessive regulations on these partnerships, going so far as to dictate how employers communicate with their employees about their prescription drug benefits.
We strongly oppose government overreach in all areas of private business, but particularly so when it has clear, negative consequences for the health – both physical and financial – of employees. This type of big government mandate is something we would expect to see in other states – not Arizona.
SB 1161 threatens to significantly increase costs and undermine the free-market principles that have long invigorated the economy in our state. As you are considering legislation this session, we respectfully ask you to oppose SB 1161, which will have detrimental impacts on large employers and small businesses across Arizona.
Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Arizona Small Business Association
Greater Phoenix Chamber
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)