Options for everyone — regardless of insurance status

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 the sections below, 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.

Insured T1D patients

Co-pay assistance

If you have insurance through an employer or the insurance marketplace, but are still struggling to afford your medication, most major insulin manufacturers offer co-pay 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.


Coupons

Humalog, Rezvoglar, Lyumjev, Basaglar, Insulin Lispro

Afrezza

NovoLog, Levemir, Fiasp, Tresiba

Lantus, Toujeo, Apidra, Admelog


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 co-pay 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 co-pay 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 co-pay. 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.

Uninsured T1D patients

How to get insulin

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 nameTypeCash priceCoupon priceOther key information
Humalog,
Lyumjev

Basaglar
Rapid Acting/ Mealtime

Long-Acting
Varies$35 / monthCoupon available for phone or print, go to Lilly Assistance program website.  
Insulin Lispro Rapid-Acting/ Mealtime$25 / vial

*Pharmacy can charge a dispensing fee or charge a different price.
n/a
RezvoglarLong-Acting$92/ box of 5 pens

*Pharmacy can charge a dispensing fee or charge a different price.
$35 / monthCan be substituted by the pharmacist for other long-acting insulin.  

Coupon available for phone or print, go to Lilly Assistance program website. 
Insulin Glargine-yfgnLong-Acting$100 / box of 5 pens

*Pharmacy can charge a dispensing fee or charge a different price.
n/aCan be substituted by the pharmacist for other long-acting insulin.
LantusLong-ActingVaries$35 / monthUninsured people can get a discount card here.
NovoLog   
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
VariesUp to 3 vials or 2 packs of pens of any combination of 2 of these insulins for $35 / month Coupon available by visiting NovoCare.com, calling 1.844.NOVO4ME (1.844.668.6463), OR texting ‘ENROLL’ to ‘24177’
Walmart ReliOn NovologRapid-Acting/ Mealtime$72.88 / vial  

$85.88 / box of 5 pens  
n/aWalmart specific pricing
Walmart ReliOn
Intermediate or Regular-Acting Insulin
Intermediate/ Regular-Acting $25 / vialn/aThis 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.  Please consult with your doctor before using. 
Non-retail pharmacy options for insulin access

Community Health Centers are healthcare 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 healthcare 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 documenting your medical needs for other assistance programs.