The cost of insulin continues to rise. Lawmakers are currently working to set price limits on how much can be charged for insulin. Insulin is becoming unaffordable for patients and some have gone without or use less than the prescribed doses.
There are many resources available to help you and your loved ones get the insulin needed at a lower cost. We’ve compiled several of those resources here to help save time, money and hopefully your life by making it possible to get your insulin at a price you can afford.
COVID-19 and Diabetes
People with diabetes are at higher risk of having serious complications from COVID-19. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and JDRF have created useful resources for understanding COVID-19 and diabetes.
- ADA: https://www.diabetes.org/coronavirus-covid-19
- JDRF: https://coronavirusdiabetes.org — available in many languages
Pharmaceutical Patient Assistance
Many drug companies offer programs that allow patients to get their insulin at significantly lower prices — sometimes even free — if they meet program requirements. Each of the manufacturers of insulin in the U.S. offers such programs.
You can find the application and information about each program at the links below.
- Lilly Cares — Humalog, Basaglar, Humulin
- NovoCare — Novolog, Tresiba, Levemir, Novolin, Fiasp
- Sanofi Patient Connection — Lantus, Toujeo
Discount Card Programs
There are many companies that offer prescription discount cards for those without insurance or without prescription drug benefits. These cards allow you to get certain medications at a discounted price at local pharmacies. Listed below are several to get you started:
- WellCard Savings
- Reduced Rx
- My$99Insulin (Novo)
- Insulins Valyou Savings Program — $99 (Sanofi)
- Insulin-Specific Savings Cards
- America's Drug Card
Utah Insulin Savings Program
The Utah Insulin Savings Program helps Utahns buy insulin at discounted rates. Launched in June 2020, it is primarily designed for people who do not have health insurance or who have insurance with large deductibles that require them to pay for a significant part of their insulin costs. This program is administered by PEHP and was created from HB207 in the Utah legislative session.
Applications are usually processed in a few days. Learn more or apply at https://www.utahinsulin.net.
For information on Intermountain Healthcare’s prescription assistance program, call any Intermountain Healthcare pharmacy for details. The program is called Dispensary of Hope. To access phone numbers of local Intermountain Healthcare pharmacies, go to https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/pharmacy/community-pharmacies/locations/
Community Health Centers and Pharmacies
Community Health Centers (CHCs) provide low cost diabetes care. These centers and their pharmacies are part of the federal 340B program. The 340B program requires drug manufacturers to sell certain medications, including many insulin products, at a reduced cost which is passed onto patients. In order to purchase your insulin products at these reduced costs, you must be a patient of the CHC and fill your insulin prescriptions at a pharmacy located within the CHC or at a pharmacy that is partnering with the CHC. For information on how to become a CHC patient in Utah, please go to https://auch.org/community-health-centers/become-a-health-center-patient or https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.
- Maliheh Free Clinic
Salt Lake area
Offers free quality medical care, including diabetes care, to low-income and uninsured Utah families.
- Hope Clinic
Salt Lake area
Free medical facility dedicated to heartfelt quality healthcare for the underserved and uninsured in the Salt Lake area.
- University of Utah Wellness Bus
Salt Lake valley, but looking to expand
Works with medically underserved areas on diabetes and other chronic diseases. All services are free and confidential.
- Volunteer Care Clinic
For low-income Utah County residents who do not have insurance.
- Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic
Provides access to affordable health services for the uninsured, underinsured and low-income in Southern Utah.
- Seagar Clinic Ogden Rescue Mission
Located inside of the Ogden Rescue. Serves the homeless, indigent and working poor of Northern Utah. Free medical care, including diabetes care, is provided.
- The Moab Free Clinic
Nonprofit established to ensure that all members of the Moab community have access to medical care and resources.
- American Diabetes Association (ADA)
The American Diabetes Association is dedicated to helping patients with diabetes get the resources and information they need to properly manage their condition.
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. For information related to insulin cost help go to https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/living-with-t1d/insurance/help-with-prescription-costs.
- Association for Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES)
The Association for Diabetes Care & Education Specialists has a wealth of resources on everything from diabetes prevention to living with diabetes and affordability resources.
- Walmart Pharmacy – $25 Insulin
Walmart pharmacy offers in store, without a prescription, a vial of Novo Nordisk’s Novolin ReliOn Insulin for less than $25.
- Walgreens Pharmacy
Walgreens has a financial assistance program to help customers find ways to make medications more affordable.
- CVS Pharmacy
CVS Pharmacy has a free prescription savings review program.
- Medicare Extra Help Program
Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income or are dual eligible (persons who are eligible to be on both Medicare and Medicaid) can quality for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. This program is also known as the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program.
- First Hand Foundation
Provides financial assistance to children under 20 years of age worldwide. The child does not have to be a citizen. The request must be clinically relevant to the health of the child. There must be no other existing financial net to cover the requested expenses. The foundation does not provide funding for debt reduction or experimental treatments and medications.
- Healthwell Foundation
Helps individuals afford prescription medications that are taken for specific illnesses. The Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible underinsured patients to cover certain out-of-pocket health care costs, including prescription drug coinsurance, copayments and deductibles, and health insurance premiums.
- United Health Care Children’s Foundation
For children 16 and under nationwide for medical services not fully covered by health insurance. Parents and caretakers will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $5,000 for support. Must live in the U.S. and be covered by a commercial health insurance plan.
In March 2020, HB 207 was passed, which if signed by the governor would require health plans to cover insulin with no deductible in the lowest co-pay tier or be subject to a monthly $30 cap. For some Utahns, that means their insulin would be fully covered. For Utahans who have no insurance or are self-insured the Utah Public Employee Health Plan (PEHP) will make their discounted price for insulin available.
In March 2020, Medicare announced efforts to lower the cost of insulin for Medicare patients. Medicare is working directly with insulin manufacturers and insurers on this initiative.
This information is brought to you by the Utah Diabetes Coalition, a collaborative effort to coordinate, promote, and advocate to improve care and quality of life for persons affected by diabetes in Utah.