A Closer Look at States’ Insulin Price Regulations

Earlier this month, Colorado signed into law a measure that caps total out-of-pocket spending on insulin for all diabetic patients. Under the bill, patients will pay no more than $100 for a month’s insulin supply. List prices for insulin have risen rapidly in recent years, and the average out-of-pocket cost of a full-year supply of insulin reached $613 for a privately insured patient and $1,288 for an uninsured patient, according to a Commonwealth Fund study based on Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2014 to 2017. To address the cost burden for diabetics, at least 17 states have implemented some type of monthly copayment cap for insulin. In addition, 46 states and the District of Columbia have insurance mandates related to diabetes coverage.

NOTE: Regular insulin users are those with four or more prescriptions in a year.

SOURCES: “Diabetes State Mandates and Insulin Copayment Caps,” National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2021. Visit https://bit.ly/3f7Ml7l. “Not So Sweet: Insulin Affordability over Time,” The Commonwealth Fund, September 2020. Visit https://bit.ly/2Wv3X6S.

Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong produces infographics and data stories on health insurance and specialty pharmacy for AIS Health. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting. Before joining AIS in 2018, she worked at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese.

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