Health Care

Cigna-Express Scripts cap out-of-pocket 30-day insulin costs at $25

Cigna-Express Scripts cap out-of-pocket 30-day insulin costs at $25”

If you're a diabetic, you could soon be paying less for insulin. The average out-of-pocket cost for insulin for a typical patient insured by Cigna or Express Scripts past year was $41.50 a month, Express Scripts said. Many patients in high-deductible health plans paid an average of about $100 per monthly prescription.

The program is only available to members who participate in non-government-funded pharmacy plans managed by Express Scripts, including Cigna and other plans. Express Scripts, the largest US pharmacy benefit management company, was acquired by Cigna in December. The discounts could potentially affect around 700,000 of its patients - mostly people with employer-sponsored coverage - who had an insulin claim past year, a spokeswoman told Health 202.

More than 1.2 million Americans live with Type 1 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Cigna announced Wednesday it's launching the Patient Assurance Program.

"For people with diabetes, insulin can be as essential as air", Dr. "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 risky for their health", Dr. Steve Miller, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Cigna, said in the announcement. He also believes that manufacturers need to lower list prices and restrict increases to "no more than the consumer price index".

A recent Yale study highlighted the effects of this issue, showing that one in four people with diabetes who use insulin admitted to cutting back on the use of the drug because of cost.

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.

"If this occurs, we believe that strong competition among insulin manufacturers will quickly push them to lower prices to net levels, which will greatly benefit patients who need this drug to survive", Kowalski said.

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