Medicare card next to insulin, insulin assistance programs for Medicare

3 Insulin Assistance Programs for Medicare Beneficiaries

About 33 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have diabetes, and many of them require insulin to manage their blood sugar. Despite the drug being nearly 100 years old, insulin prices have risen sharply and continually (approximately 1,123 percent) over the past two decades. If you’re a Medicare beneficiary who struggles to pay for insulin every month, these insulin assistance programs may help you pay as little as $0 per month. 

1. Sanofi Patient Connection Assistance Program for Diabetic Medicare Beneficiaries 

Sanofi’s insulin assistance program covers the insulins Admelog, Afrezza, Apidra, Lantus, Soliqua, and Toujeo. These insulins can be provided monthly at no cost. 

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a doctor who prescribes you insulin
  • Meet certain financial criteria
  • Not have a drug plan that covers a generic version of your insulin
  • Be enrolled in Medicare Part D, eligible for Extra Help, and have an out-of-pocket spending total that exceeds 5 percent of your annual income

If you are accepted into this assistance program, you will be eligible for one year. However, you can reapply each year you continue to need assistance paying for your insulin. 

Apply for Sanofi’s insulin assistance program here


2. Lilly Cares Patient Assistance Program for Diabetic Medicare Beneficiaries

Eli Lilly and Company’s program covers the insulins Humalog, Humulin, and Basaglar. 

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Not be eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid or VA benefits
  • Have spent more than $1,100 on Part D medications in the past calendar year
  • Have been prescribed an insulin covered by the program
  • Meet certain financial criteria

If you are approved, Eli Lilly will ship one to four months of insulin to your doctor’s office. The company will also include a refill form with this shipment, and you must fill it out and return it before you need another refill. Eligibility for the program lasts for 12 months, but you can reapply if you continue to need assistance. 

Find out more about the program and see if you qualify here

3. Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program for Diabetic Medicare Beneficiaries 

Like Sanofi and Lilly, Novo Nordisk also offers no-cost insulin to qualified beneficiaries. Novo Nordisk covers the insulins Fiasp, Levemir, Novolog, Novolin, Tresiba, and Xultophy. 

To qualify for this program, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a household income of less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level
  • Not have or qualify for private prescription drug coverage, VA benefits, or Medicaid unless you have spent more than $1,000 on prescription drugs in the past year and have been denied Medicare Extra Help

If you meet all eligibility requirements, Novo Nordisk will send a 120-day supply of insulin to your doctor’s office along with a refill form. When you need a refill, your doctor can submit this form for you. 

Visit the Novo Nordisk site for more information and to see if you qualify. 


Other options to reduce insulin costs

If these insulin assistance programs won’t work for you, here are a few other options to reduce your insulin costs:

  1. Avoid filling the prescription with your insurance, check the cash price, and see if you can use a pharmacy coupon like GoodRx to reduce that price. 
  2. Consider purchasing a Cigna-provided Medicare Advantage plan. The company has just capped insulin prices at $25 per month. 
  3. If you have it in your budget to travel, many Americans have begun travelling to Canada for cheaper insulin.