As part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which he pushed in 2021, co-pays for insulin were to be capped at $35 a month starting in 2023.
TOLEDO, Ohio – According to the CDC, 37.3 million Americans have diabetes and their lives depend on the use of insulin.
As part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which he pushed in 2021, co-pays for insulin were to be does not exceed $35 per month starting in 2023.
“Whether you get health insurance through a private Affordable Care Act or through Medicare, no one is going to pay more than $35 each month for insulin,” Biden said in 2021.
But when Gina Lundquist, who has type 1 diabetes, went to pick up her first prescription of the year, she thought, “Biden’s $35 insulin would do me some good, but it cost me $167.”
The Inflation Reduction Act capped insulin prices at $35 a month only for those on Medicare, and people like Lundquist were left out.
“Insulin in general is just expensive, and I feel like it really shouldn’t be that expensive,” Lundquist said. “I need insulin every day to survive and just feel normal.”
Chuck Rippenhoff, a clinical pharmacist with ProMedica, said insurance is too complex to offer the same price to everyone.
“Insurance and the list of insulins that they cover definitely change, not necessarily just from year to year, but maybe even throughout the year,” Rippenhoff said.
Biden’s drive to lower prescription prices is now affecting drugmakers. Eli Lilly and Nova Nordisk recently announced a reduction in their sky-high insulin prices.
After paying for insulin for 22 years, Lundquist is looking forward to the change.
“If this price reduction actually happens, which is life-changing for me, I’ll save hundreds of dollars and that money could go toward other diabetic supplies or other bills in general,” she said.