On May 22, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis approved a bill that will cap the price of insulin co-pays at $100 a month for patients with health insurance, regardless of the amount they need. The law comes into force next year.
“The days of insulin price gouging are over in Colorado,” Polis told CBS Denver. It’s a bold promise, reflecting nationwide, bipartisan concern over the soaring costs of prescription drugs and insulin in particular.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the cost of insulin has tripled over the past decade, while out-of-pocket prescription costs have doubled. In 2016, the average price of insulin was reckoned to be $450 a month – and rising. So it’s not surprising that an increasing number of diabetics are choosing to ration or even skip their doses.
How Will This New Law Affect You?
If you’re a Coloradan senior with diabetes, the short answer is that it will depend on your health status and insurance. If your insulin needs are below average, and your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan has standard deductibles and cost-sharing, your monthly costs may already be below $100. But that’s not to say you won’t need higher doses, or a more expensive brand, in future. So take some reassurance from the fact that the new law will keep your costs stable, even if your condition is not.
The main beneficiaries of the law will be those who regularly hit their coverage gap, aka the “donut hole,” and enter a period in which they’re paying 40% of their drug costs. Given the spike in expenses, it’s tempting for these patients to ration dosages, or switch to cheaper brands. Coloradans, at least, won’t have to face these sorts of dilemmas after 2020.
Where Physical and Financial Wellness Meet
At The Retreat, we understand the importance of health and financial stability. That’s why we work hard to provide the highest standard of care while keeping our residents in mind. To learn more about our assisted living options, contact us today to schedule a tour.