Jul 15, 2022 - Health

UnitedHealthcare to cut co-pays for insulin

Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

UnitedHealthcare starting next year will stop charging a co-pay to its fully-insured members for several critical medicines including insulin, the company announced during an earnings call Friday.

Why it matters: Out-of-pocket costs have led many patients to ration live-saving drugs and become sicker as a result.

  • Insulin also been a flashpoint in the debate over drug price reform in Congress in recent years.

Details: The initiative to offer the point-of-sale discount is supported by UnitedHealthcare's pharmacy benefit manager Optum Rx.

  • It includes critical medicines on the company's preferred drug list including insulin, epinephrine for severe allergic reactions and albuterol for acute asthma attacks.

What they're saying: "While this is an important step for vulnerable people’s health, the larger and longer-term cost containment of drugs depends upon manufacturers restraining and lowering the list prices of their products – which is the fundamental driver of costs," UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty said.

Go deeper