President Trump Reduces Insulin Costs
Recently, President Trump announced a new trade deal to reduce insulin costs. The deal is between health care plans and insulin manufacturers. And the result?
Starting next year, those with Diabetes can enroll in Medicare plans with caps on insulin charges. Copays will not be more than $35 each month. According to the White House, more than 3 million Americans on Medicare need to use insulin.
For beneficiaries who need insulin, uninterrupted access to the drug is crucial. Without regular use of insulin, even more, severe health issues can arise.
An accurate idea of your health costs can also help ensure you take your medication regularly.
Current Medicare Coverage of Insulin
Some of the excluded supplies include:
- Insulin pens
- Syringes and needles
- Alcohol prep swabs and gauze
Since Medicare won’t cover the items above, you’ll be responsible for 100% of the costs. Of course, if you have a prescription drug plan, it may cover some of these supplies.
Insulin is expensive. The average monthly cost of insulin can ring in at hundreds of dollars each month.
But, Trump wants to reduce insulin costs, especially for seniors. So, he took action.
Trump’s Reduces the Costs for Insulin
“This is a big day for seniors. We brought all of the parties to the table — insurers, manufacturers, and other key players — and reached an agreement to deliver insulin at a stable and lower cost for our seniors. I hope the seniors are going to remember it because Biden is the one that put us into the jam because they didn’t know what they were doing,” Trump said on Tuesday within the Rose Garden of the White House.
The President continued with the new announcement, “Today, I’m proud to announce that we have reached a breakthrough agreement to dramatically slash the out-of-pocket cost of insulin. You know what’s happened to insulin and, Seema, I want to thank you because you brought this to my attention a long time ago, and you worked very hard on this day.”
As a result, beneficiaries with drug coverage paid an average of $675 for a year’s supply of insulin, and sometimes as high as $1,500. Harmful laws also meant that seniors often paid a different amount almost every single month.
They had no idea what they were paying — they were billed. Every month, they were billed a different amount, and it was a massive amount.
One in three seniors on Medicare have Diabetes, and over 3.3 million beneficiaries use insulin. Over the past ten years, these seniors have seen their costs almost double.”
With numbers like these, we need to see a change.
For hundreds and thousands of seniors enrolled in Medicare — that’s a big deal — participating plans will cap the cost at just $35 a month per type of insulin, and some plans may offer it free.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the Hot Topic
Seema Verma of CMS says that the insulin pricing cap may increase monthly premiums. The premium increases will be about $17 more a month. “In exchange for a minimal premium increase, beneficiaries get a maximum fixed $35 copay for a month’s supply of insulin. For those whose health and even lives depend on insulin, these savings are nothing short of a godsend. These plans will begin starting in January 2021 in all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. And seniors can find a participating plan on our Medicare Plan Finder during the annual open enrollment period, which begins on October 15th.”
Even so, she says that beneficiaries will ultimately save about 66% on the cost of their insulin. Verna indicates that if the price capping on insulin works well, other things may be next. Meaning, the administration may move forward similarly to other medications.
What do These Changes Mean for 2020?
So many beneficiaries may be able to take a breath of relief, come 2021. The complications that can go with patients who don’t take their insulin can be severe.
The fact is many Medicare beneficiaries live on fixed incomes. So many can’t afford hundreds of dollars a month on a life-changing medication. The announcement of slashing costs for patients can change lives for the better.
“No effort will be spared to give America’s seniors the care and support and devotion and love they have earned and that they deserve.”