Diabetes

The editorial in the Aug. 7 Independent Reivew, in regards to the high cost of insulin, ended with the line, “It’s time for action on this crisis.” Simultaneously, the Minnesota-based insurance company Medica took steps to lower the cost of insulin for Minnesotans.

In the Star Tribune on Aug. 6, Medica announced its intent to absorb a majority of the cost of prescription insulin. As of Jan. 1, 2020, there will be a $25 copay for insulin, of which Medica will cover the remaining amount. This will affect all individual policies purchased through MNsure as well as all Minnesota-based, fully-insured group plans through employers. This move will impact over 6,500 Minnesotans who depend on insulin.

In addition, many of the diabetic supplies are covered under the Medica preventive benefits at 100 percent on current health plans. Medica has also stated that the 2020 premiums will not rise as a result of the change. Those on high deductible health plans will benefit the most.

I spoke with Medica’s CEO, John Naylor, this past week. He said, “We need to do what is right and take care of the people.”

Since the announcement, he has had major carriers throughout the U.S. calling and wanting to discuss what they are doing and how they are getting it done. Other carriers based in the state are looking into the cost cap as well.

I wish to commend Medica on being an industry leader in health care. With three companies owning the patent and allowing the cost of insulin to rise up to 300 percent in 10 years, Medica is showing other carriers that there are ways to shoulder the cost so that the citizens don’t have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Richard Westlund

Hutchinson

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