Help with Your Diabetes Prescription and Insulin Costs

All people with T1D and those at risk of developing T1D should have affordable access to insulin and other drug therapies. While sharing the resources below that can help with costs, JDRF is also fighting for changes from manufacturers, health plans, employers, and the government for affordable access to insulin and all diabetes prescription therapies. Learn more here 

Prescription costs for drugs to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) can make up a large percentage of what you pay each year for healthcare. There are ways you can lower your prescription and insulin costs: medication discount cards and prescription alternatives such as biosimilar insulin are the most common. 

In this first section we’ll discuss some different ways to get help with insulin costs, depending on which type of insurance you have or if you are uninsured. 

  • Uninsured
  • Insured 
  • Medicare 
  • Medicaid 

No matter your insurance status, start at Getinsulin.org. JDRF is pleased to partner with Beyond Type 1 and dozens of other organizations on this tool that helps meet the immediate need for people in the United States to access insulin while we continue working on long-term solutions to address insulin affordability. Anyone in need of help can visit GetInsulin.org for a customized action plan, available in English and Spanish. 

Uninsured

If you are uninsured, there are several reduced and no cost options for accessing insulin. Pharmacies, your doctor and community health centers all offer some options for accessing insulin. 

Brand name, unbranded and biosimilar insulins are available from pharmacies. Unbranded insulins are made by the same manufacturer as their branded counterpart but are usually offered at a lower price. Biosimilar insulins are a biologic drug that is almost an identical copy of the original product that is manufactured by a different company. Biosimilars are FDA approved versions of original “innovator” products and can be manufactured when the original drug patent expires. Most of these insulins require a prescription for the specific product but some can be substituted by the pharmacist if you request it.  Pharmacies can also charge a dispensing fee to help cover their costs when you are paying cash. We recommend you call the pharmacy in advance to ensure they carry the specific insulin product you need.

 

Insulin name 

Cash price 

Coupon price 

Other key information 

Humalog (rapid acting/mealtime) 

Varies 

$35/ month 

Coupon available for phone or print, go to Lilly Assistance program website 

Lyumjev (rapid acting/mealtime) 

Basaglar (long acting) 

Insulin Lispro (rapid acting/mealtime) 

$25/vial 

n/a 

 

pharmacy can charge a dispensing fee or charge a different price 

Rezvoglar (long acting) 

$92/ box of 5 pens; pharmacy can charge a dispensing fee or charge a different price 

$35/month 

Can be substituted by the pharmacist for other long acting insulin 

Coupon available for phone or print, go to Lilly Assistance program website 

Insulin Glargine-yfgn (long acting) 

$100 per box of 5 pens 

n/a 

Can be substituted by the pharmacist for other long acting insulin 

pharmacy can charge a dispensing fee or charge a different price 

Lantus (long acting) 

Varies 

$35/month 

Uninsured people can get a discount card here: https://www.goodrx.com/lantus 

NovoLog,  

Varies 

Up to 3 vials or 2 packs of pens of any combination of 2 of these insulins for $35/month 

Coupon from NovoCare.com or by calling 1.844.NOVO4ME (1.844.668.6463) or by texting ‘ENROLL’ to ‘24177’ 

NovoLog Mix 70/30 

Levemir  

Tresiba  

Fiasp 

Novolin N  

Novolin R  

Novolin 70/30  

Insulin Aspart 

Insulin Aspart Protamine 

Insulin Aspart Injectable Suspension Mix 70/30 

Insulin Degludec  

Walmart ReliOn Novolog (rapid acting/mealtime) 

$72.88/ vial 

n/a 

Walmart specific pricing 

$85.88/ box of 5 pens 

Walmart ReliOn intermediate- or regular- acting insulin 

$25/vial 

n/a 

This insulin does not require a prescription. NOTE: This insulin works differently than newer insulins so you will need to learn how to dose it correctly. There may be unpredictable peaks and valleys in action so monitoring your blood sugar will be extremely important. 

Non retail pharmacy options for insulin access 

Community Health Centers

Community Health Centers are health care providers that provide medical care for anyone, with or without insurance and with a sliding scale payment option (your cost to use the center is tied to your income). To find a Community Health Center near you: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov. They can help you access insulin or other prescriptions at a reduced cost. 

Ask your physician for samples 

If you are struggling to afford insulin, be sure to tell your health care provider. Your primary care provider or endocrinologist may have insulin samples available in their office. They also can help you find ways to reduce your costs by writing a larger quantity prescription, changing brands or formulas, and can document your medical needs for other assistance programs. 

Insured 

If you have insurance through an employer or the insurance marketplace but are still struggling to afford your medication, most major insulin manufacturers offer copay assistance. Co-pay coupon cards can be used by anyone, regardless of income, to reduce your out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy. They often can be used for one or two years before you must renew them via the application process. When using these coupons, it is possible that the out-of-pocket costs may not count toward your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum with your insurance company. Also, you may not use these coupons if you have Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or other government health insurance. Read the details for each coupon and your insurance to determine if the coupon will work for your specific situation. 

You can find more information about each of the coupons here: 

Medicare 

Part D covered insulins cost no more than $35 per month per insulin at the pharmacy counter or mail-order checkout. For two insulin prescriptions, the maximum will be $70 per month. For tubed pump users who get their insulin through Part B, there is also a $35 out-of-pocket cap per month. 

Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plans can still limit coverage to certain brands of insulin, however they must cover at least one of all types of insulin (long-acting, rapid-acting, etc) and in the different delivery forms (vials, pens, inhaled or cartridges). Be sure to verify that your particular insulin is covered by your Part D plan in the form that you need it in, whether vials, pens or cartridges. For example, if you use Fiasp cartridges in a smart pen and disposable Lantus pens, verify that Fiasp is available in cartridge form for $35 per month and that Lantus pens are covered at a $35 copay by the plan before you sign up. Not every plan will cover your exact combination of insulin needs. 

You do not need to reach your deductible to get the $35 price for insulin in Part B or Part D, depending on which Part pays for your insulin. This means that you will only pay the copay for your insulin, and the amount paid will count toward your deductible. Keep in mind that you will still have to pay for your CGM, test strips, insulin pump or supplies until you reach the deductible and then will have a copay. For 2024, Medicare deductibles are $240 for Part B and a maximum of $545 for Part D plans.. 

Medicaid 

Many people with Medicaid do not have to pay for their prescriptions. However, in some cases, you will have to pay a few dollars for each prescription, including insulin, but no more than $8 per prescription.  

Help with other diabetes costs 

If you need help paying for other diabetes needs, there are manufacturer programs and other ways to access assistance. 

If you need financial assistance or support navigating your insurance and/or the costs to access Tzield (teplizumab), contact  the Compass program. 

The US Dept. of Health and Human Services provides a searchable database of drug manufacturer patient assistance programs. You can search by the name of the specific medication here 

If you have a prescription for Gvoke glucagon, there is a copay coupon available here. 

If you need assistance with your pump supplies or CGM, directly contact the manufacturer via their customer service number below. 

  • Abbott Diabetes Care: 1-855-632-8658 
  • Dexcom at 1-888-738-3646  
  • Insulet: 1-800-591-3455 
  • Medtronic: 1-800-646-4633 
  • Tandem: 1-877-801-6901, option 3