Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau announced the first bill for the 130th Maine Legislature on Monday morning during a press conference. LD 1 would create a COVID-19 patients bill of rights. The proposal will be the first bill of the new session of the Maine Legislature.
LD 1, An Act To Establish the COVID-19 Patient Bill of Rights, is about making sure nothing prevents Mainers from receiving the health care they need to protect themselves, their families and loved ones from the coronavirus.
This bill establishes certain requirements for the protection of health care consumers with regard to testing, treatment and immunization for COVID-19. The bill also makes changes to improve access to prescription drugs and to health care services through telehealth.
Part A of the bill requires health insurance carriers to provide coverage for COVID-19
screening, testing and immunization services and prohibits a carrier from imposing any cost-sharing requirements on consumers for those services.
Part B of the bill authorizes a pharmacist to administer COVID-19 vaccines licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration that are recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for administration to a person 16 years of age or older. It also provides that registered nurses, providers of osteopathic medicine, providers of allopathic medicine, podiatrists and dentists may prescribe to a patient a prescription drug for an extended period of time, not to exceed a 180-day supply, during a state of emergency declared by the Governor.
Part C of the bill authorizes the delivery of health care services through telehealth by audio-only telephone.