Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Insulin prices won't top $25 a month out-of-pocket under new program

As insulin prices continue to skyrocket one insurance company announced plans to cap monthly insulin costs at $25 As insulin prices continue to skyrocket one insurance company announced plans to cap monthly insulin costs at $25
Celia Hoffman | 05 April, 2019, 15:44

According to the company, the plan will cap out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin at $25.

The country's largest pharmacy benefit manager - itself acquired previous year by one of the country's biggest health insurers - is introducing a program to cap out-of-pocket costs for diabetes patients who rely on insulin. Over the last five years, insulin prices have doubled. With the new program, these people will save approximately 40%, according to the company.

Congress is pouring pressure on drugmakers and pharmacy middlemen to ease steep insulin prices for patients with diabetes.

Cigna's Miller said in a statement to highlight the co-pay plan that: "We need to ensure these individuals feel secure in their ability to afford every fill so they don't miss one dose, which can be unsafe for their health".

LEWISTON, ME - OCTOBER 07: Signage on the Cigna Foundation Health Improvement Tour Mobile Unit at the Annual Dempsey Challenge on October 7, 2017 in Lewiston, Maine. The plan, which is covered by the insurer and its subsidiary Express Scripts, began Wednesday for about 700,000 Cigna members.

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Express Scripts has announced a plan to cut patient co-pays for insulin products at $25 a month ahead of a pricing showdown with U.S. politicians next week. The companies said that in most cases, employers who opt in will not see any additional cost to the plan. The company said the cap would reduce out-of-pocket payments for insulin by almost 40%.

"We have people with diabetes who take insulin who are having trouble affording their insulin", said Stettin.

A January report from the Health Care Cost Institute found that Type 1 diabetes costs alone rose from $12,467 in 2012 to $18,494 in 2016. The ongoing problem has led some diabetics to cut back or go without the necessary drug entirely because they cannot afford it.

Cigna said it secured discounts from those three manufacturers, so it wouldn't absorb the total costs of its new program.

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