Regulations That Can Increase Affordability Of Medications Announced

New regulations increase oversight of Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Excessive pharmaceutical costs are a concerning trend occurring across the nation, and today the Delaware Department of Insurance has finalized new regulations for Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to proactively combat the issue. The regulations go into effect on August 11 as part of implementing HB 194, and come after extensive stakeholder discussions.

PBMs administer prescription drug plans for health insurers, large employers, Medicare Part D plans, and other groups, determining the list of medications that a plan will cover and the consumer costs of those drugs. These companies hold massive negotiating power and receive billions of dollars in rebates from manufacturers, but to date have widely not used their power to reduce the costs of medications and insurance. The new regulations from the Department of Insurance will begin an increasing level of oversight and transparency, allowing the department to investigate companies, require corrective actions, and to suspend, deny, or revoke a PBM’s registration if they are acting in violation of the Code.

“Increasing the affordability of prescriptions and healthcare increases their accessibility, creating a healthier Delaware. These steps towards regulating this multi-billion-dollar industry will save residents money, and could save residents lives,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “I want to commend Pharmacy Reimbursement Task Force co-chairs Sen. Sokola and Rep. Bennett, as well as Chair of the former Interagency Pharmaceuticals Purchasing Study Group Rep. Seigfried, for their passion and hard work towards these regulations and their inclusion of a diverse array of stakeholders throughout the process. Our work on this issue is just beginning, and we are grateful for your partnership.”

The Pharmacy Reimbursement Task Force and the former Interagency Pharmaceuticals Purchasing Study Group each demonstrated the General Assembly’s focus on lowering the cost of care, working on a range of issues surrounding protecting Delawareans from excessive medication costs, negotiating and lowering drug prices, and creating price transparency and corporate accountability.

“One of the most important things we can do as elected officials is work to keep prescription drugs affordable and accessible, particularly for our most vulnerable residents,” said Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark. “I’m proud of our work on the Pharmacy Reimbursement Task Force and proud to have helped develop regulations that will increase transparency around a little-known sector of our health care industry. These regulations from Commissioner Navarro and his team at the Department of Insurance represent a solid beginning to the work I look forward to continuing in 2021.”

The department and the General Assembly plan to work together to advance legislation regarding PBMs in the future. A related bill was proposed during this year’s session, but it did not advance due to the compressed legislative timeline during COVID-19.

“High prescription drug costs can debilitate a person’s finances, hindering how they save and plan for daily and long-term expenses. We owe it to consumers to fight for their best interests, increasing access and affordability to needed medications,” said Rep. Andria Bennett, who sponsored HB 194 to regulate PBMs. “Pharmacy benefit managers should put the consumer first, not profit. That’s why we fought to increase transparency and oversight: so Delawareans are not taken advantage of in such a vulnerable way. Commissioner Navarro’s regulation will provide even more transparency and comfort to our residents, and I thank him for his commitment to them.”

“Pharmacy Benefit Managers are companies that have, through the years, gained significant control over the supply, demand, and cost of pharmaceuticals – around 80% of the market – with little to no regulation at all. They are, in essence, governing both the cost and flow of medicines between people in need of medication and the manufacturer, health insurance company, community pharmacies, and the company providing medication benefits. This has led to higher costs for residents who don’t really have a choice in whether to pay for lifesaving medication,” said Rep. Ray Seigfried, a former Christiana Care senior vice president.

“My colleagues and I pushed HB 194 to require registration of all PBMs doing business in Delaware as a first step to reining in these managers. Commissioner Navarro’s regulations create standards such as having access to books and records of their operation, contract templates, and staffing. It provides the right to denial, suspension, or revocation. This order will provide the first step to begin opening the door to greater transparency. I thank Commissioner Navarro and his team for taking these important steps forward.”

Registration of Pharmacy Benefits Managers Regulation

Important Insurance Reminders After Tropical Storm Isaias

Commissioner Navarro encourages caution in repairs, meets with community

Tropical Storm Isaias produced tornado activity, heavy rain and flooding, hail, and strong winds throughout the state, causing significant destruction in several Delaware communities. Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro visited residents and assessed damage on Wednesday.

“While measuring the full extent of this storm will take time, we know one thing – we must come together as a community and support those that need to rebuild,” said Commissioner Navarro after touring Amberwood community in Bear, which saw extensive storm impacts, and speaking with those beginning the insurance claims process. “I understand the eagerness of every resident to clean up and make repairs, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of contacting your insurance company first. Take photos of everything and do not make permanent repairs before working with your insurance adjuster. Make only necessary, temporary repairs to prevent additional damage. Save all documentation, pictures, and receipts.”

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro talks with a resident next to a down tree.

The Delaware Department of Insurance Consumer Services Division is working with residents who have questions or concerns about their insurance company’s actions, and can be reached at (800) 282-8611 or (302) 674-6227, or by email at

Underscoring the importance of proceeding through the insurance claim and property repair process with caution, Commissioner Navarro highlighted the frequency of fraudulent activity after a storm: “Anytime we experience a big storm like Isaias, we see storm-chasing scammers pop up in neighborhoods, falsely stating they are with an insurance company, or encouraging homeowners to sign on to repair contracts without going through the proper channels – often price gouging residents, or completing shoddy repairs if they make any at all, leaving the consumer on the hook for costs that could have been covered by an insurer.”

Residents who encounter a storm-related insurance scam can contact the Fraud Prevention Bureau at (800) 632-5154 or (302) 674-7350, or email Consumers are urged to carefully review contracts for home repairs, ask for references and research companies through the Better Business Bureau.

Consumers may contact the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, DEMA, to see what assistance may be available as a result of the Governor’s State of Emergency. Property insurance policyholders should be aware of the dwelling deductible stated on their insurance declaration page, and take note that there may be a deductible for named storms, wind, hail, or tornadoes that may apply to the claim, most often stated as a percentage of dwelling coverage.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, Department of Insurance offices are not currently open to the public, but residents are encouraged to contact the department at one of the emails or phone numbers above, or call (302) 674-7300 for assistance.

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro speaking to a resident whose deck was damaged by the storm.Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro speaking to residents.

Navarro Urges Residents to Prepare for Tropical Storm Isaias

Provides information on insurance processes for property damage

As Tropical Storm Isaias approaches Delaware, residents are urged to prepare for dangerous winds over 55 miles per hour and up to 6 inches of rain. Storm surges, localized flooding, tree damage, power outages, and other threats to life and property are possible, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Rain is expected Monday evening, with the brunt of the storm arriving early on Tuesday.

“As models continue to show Delaware in the path of this storm, home and business owners should take steps to reduce property damage and stay safe,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “Secure any outdoor items or furniture that could cause damage when windy conditions occur, charge your cellphones, gather emergency supplies, and make a plan about where you can take shelter away from windows at the peak of the storm. Keep in mind that roads may become difficult to navigate due to debris and tree damage, and never drive through a flooded area.”

Isaias is expected to hit Delaware Tuesday morning. Potential storm impacts include damage to porches, carports and other awnings, as well as roofing and siding, with impacts on mobile homes more significant. NWS expects uprooted or snapped trees in addition to flooding, causing impassable roadways and power outages in some places. Storm surges are likely, and tornadoes are possible.

In advance of storms, residents are urged to locate important documents, including homeowners and auto insurance policies and company contact information, as well as a complete a home inventory. If your property is damaged by Tropical Storm Isaias, contact your insurer before you clean up or make repairs, and photograph all damage. After speaking with your insurer and photographing damage, take action to prevent further damage by covering broken windows, damaged walls, or leaking roofs, but do not make permanent repairs. Your insurance company should inspect the property and estimate the cost of permanent repairs. Save all receipts and documentation, including those related to temporary repairs.

Hurricane season lasts well into the fall, and residents should make plans and take precautions now to reduce future risks, including exploring flood insurance. More than 20 percent of flood insurance claims are for properties outside of high-risk areas. Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect. For more information about FEMA’s flood insurance program and to find an agent in your area, visit or call 1-800-427-4661.

For more information on how to prepare your home for inclement weather, visit the Department of Insurance Disaster Preparedness page.

Commissioner Navarro Partners with Aquila to Distribute Overdose Medication

Will provide Naloxone kits and training at Seaford event

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro, the Town of Seaford, and Aquila Behavioral Health of Delaware have joined forces to deliver life-saving overdose reversal medication to residents on July 27 from 4:00 to 6:00PM at Williams Pond Park. Free opioid rescue kits provided by the Division of Public Health, will be distributed car-side to attendees along with trainings of how the product should be used. Each kit has two doses of Naloxone.

“I am proud to join Aquila in offering life-saving overdose reversal kits to residents. For individuals who are facing the struggle of addiction, or those who have family members or friends in this fight, a naloxone kit is a must-have. For those in this situation, having naloxone on hand is like having an airbag in your vehicle – we hope that you won’t need to use it, but it is important to have one because it could save a life” said Commissioner Navarro.

Coverage for mental health has been a priority of the Commissioner. Efforts include working with the General Assembly and insurers to require coverage for serious mental illnesses including addiction, creating Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act reporting requirements, and ensuring that medication-assisted treatment for those with drug and alcohol dependencies can be accessible.

The event comes as the Delaware is seeing increased overdose rates during the coronavirus pandemic, with 39 suspected overdose deaths in May, tying the highest monthly total. As of the end of May, 160 suspected overdose deaths have occurred in Delaware, a 60% increase over a similar period of 2019.

“Aquila is pleased to partner with the Insurance Commissioner and the Town of Seaford to ensure Naloxone gets into the hands and homes of all individuals who may need it to keep their loved ones safe – we know that nobody chooses addiction, and by making this opioid reversal drug available, we can give individuals another chance to get treatment. Thank you to Public Health for continuing to provide these kits to the community,” said Amy Kevis, Director of Development for Aquila Behavioral Health of Delaware. Aquila provides comprehensive psychiatric and substance abuse treatment statewide. Learn more by calling (302) 999-1106.

The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health launched the 24/7 Hope line to serve as a single point of contact for resources, info, clinical and peer support, and crisis assistance. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, do not wait, find help today. Call 1-833-9-HOPEDE or visit

Any residents having problems obtaining insurance approval for treatment or prescriptions related to substance abuse or mental health needs, contact the Delaware Department of Insurance’s Consumer Services Division by emailing or calling (302) 674-7300.

Event attendees and media representatives must observe social distancing and wear a face covering.

Trinidad Navarro Statement on Signing of Telemedicine Bill

Temporary codification of expanded telemedicine options helps all Delawareans

Today Governor John Carney signed, via livestream, HS 1 for HB 348, sponsored by Representative David Bentz, which temporarily codifies a number of consumer-friendly provisions developed during COVID-19 that can increase access to health care due to expanding telemedicine.

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro issued the following statement:

“In response to the unprecedented times we are facing, Delaware residents have been fortunate to have numerous consumer- and provider-friendly provisions enacted over the last several months with the leadership and the support of the Governor, General Assembly, DHSS, medical provider groups, insurers, and our office. Together, we have increased remote access to healthcare, ensuring that those concerned about visiting facilities in-person do not need to do so during coronavirus.

Delaware has long been a leader in telemedicine – as of December 2019, we were one of only ten states that required private insurers to reimburse virtual visits at the same rate, and with the same freedom from restrictions as in-person visits. Now, states across the country are following our lead in creating consumer- and provider-friendly laws like ours.

While I don’t manage the professional regulation components regarding what types of tele-communication are allowable, I am so happy to see that HS 1 for HB 348 will allow for phone-based visits to further assist rural residents and those that fall into the technological divide in accessing care.

Telemedicine isn’t a solution specific to the pandemic – it helps people in areas without local providers, those with limited access to transportation, individuals with disabilities – even parents who would have to find childcare to go to an in-person appointment. Telemedicine helps everyone, and it is here to stay. I look forward to working with the General Assembly next year to review our Code and develop permanent solutions.”

The Delaware Department of Insurance will be issuing a bulletin to the industry to inform them of the continued telemedicine requirements.