Breaking News: Monthly Cigna Insulin Costs now Capped at $25.00!
Today Cigna and Express scripts took a major step towards driving down the price of insulin for everyday patients. Studies by groups like the American Diabetes Association that insulin prices are rising and people are cutting back due to affordability. For a chronic disease that costs the US more than 300 billion dollars yearly, highly priced insulin is as unethical as it is unaffordable. Insulin is a required drug needed to manage blood sugar levels. Without insulin, the consequences can be life-threatening. In fact, before the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a fatal disease.
Sadly, for many people the cost of insulin can be the difference between if they are treating their disease or just hoping it doesn’t get worse. Insulin too is only part of the problem. Since diabetes is a chronic disease, the cost of testing strips, meters, and regular blood work can be both financially and emotionally draining. With this Cigna insulin Patient Assurance Program, at least one of these factors is being addressed.
Cigna, Insulin, & Express Scripts
Cigna, working with Express Scripts has just announced a new capped price for monthly insulin. For participating Cigna plans, the Cigna Insulin Patient Assurance Program works by bumping down your copay. According to Cigna, this results in an average cost drop from $41.50 for a 30-day supply to $25.00 for that same 30-day supply. All of the savings works out to to about $200.00 a year. Taking into account that Diabetes is a life-long, chronic condition this could result in thousands of dollars in savings.
Who Benefits the Most from The Cigna Insulin Plan?
Everyone who needs insulin should benefit from lower prices offered by the Patient Assurance Program. By the way the press release was worded, certain plans may already be paying less then $25 for a month’s supply of Cigna insulin. People expected to see the biggest benefit will be those on a limited incomes, people who are on high-deductible plans (who may be paying premiums for prescriptions), and people who have been forced to cut back on their insulin due to financial constraints.
How Do I Take Advantage of the Patient Assurance Program?
First, you need to be a Cigna member. At the time of this writing open enrollment is currently closed and will reopen this year from Nov. 1st 2019 to Dec., 15th 2019. There are some circumstances which may allow you to sign up now, you should read about them on Cigna’s website or talk to one of their service representatives (click here).
If you are a member and interested in learning more about the Patient Assurance Program, I’d recommend calling Cigna directly or visiting their website.
Cigna indicates in their press release that they’ll “be activating this new program for participating plans by moving covered insulin products to a lower copay.” You may still want to call to make sure everything is going as planned and to learn when your lower costs will be reflected in your bills.
History of Eli Lilly & Discovery of Insulin
Want to learn more about, arguably, the greatest medical discovery of the 20th Century? Pick up a copy of Michael Bliss’ The Discovery of Insulin
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, then managing your blood sugar levels is a vital part of controlling the disease. We’ve scoured the internet for ways to get free glucometers for tracking blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, there’s a real lack of options out there. Still, we were able to identify four brand name meters that, with the right insurance, you can reliably obtain for free! Just keep in mind that some terms and conditions do apply.
Also remember that you’ll need to purchase test strips for use with the glucometers. In fact, this is probably the reason why manufacturers give away free glucometers – so you buy the strips later. With that in mind we’ll also show you the common cost for each meter’s test strips. If you’re looking to purchase test strips or diabetes supplies for your free glucometer, we recommend shopping from trusted sources that focus on diabetic supplies, like Total Diabetes Supply.
Choosing the Right Glucometer
Before you pick a free meter, there are some factors to consider.
Is the meter covered by insurance?
Is the meter easy to use?
Are the test strips easy to use?
How accurate are the test strips?
How expensive are the test strips?
What features does the meter come with?
Does the meter come with technical support?
Would it make sense for me to buy a meter with more features?
Pros: The Aviva models are no frills, simple-to-use option. If you’re looking for a dependable and free glucometer, they’re a great way to go. Cons: Some reviews expressed concern with the battery life and the fail rate of the test strips on the Aviva Model. Both of these concerns are pretty common to all the free glucometer models.
Cons: Reviews indicate that the battery life can be short. Batteries are replaceable and not rechargeable = increased costs. May be hard to handle and read by elderly. Website has unclear requirements on how to qualify for this free glucometer.
The Accu-Check Glucometers are produced by Roche. You can choose a free Accu-Check Aviva or Accu-Check Guide. The Aviva is the older model of the two and retails for $30. The Accu-Check Guide is a newer model and also retails for about $30.00.
Features: The Aviva is a simple and easy model and might be ideal for younger patients or patients who don’t want so many bells and whistles. The Guide is Accu-Check’s most accurate model, easy-to-use and has increased functionality. This functionality includes Bluetooth and it can be paired with their mobile app. It’s easy to see in the dark, it has a spill-resistant test strip case, and other features you can read about here!
Customer Assistance: Both of the Accu-Check Glucometers have an excellent support site with customer assistance. You can also chose to speak with a person directly by calling
Test Strips: The Accu-Check Aviva test strips are a little cheaper at about $23 for a pack of 50. The Accu-Check Guide strips run about $26 for a pack of 50 test strips, depending on where you get them. The Accu-Check website has a good, reasonably-priced option for strips.
The Contour Next One Glucometer is produced by Bayer. It’s a stylish, sleek, and USB-shaped device that’s fairly inexpensive, retailing for about $8.00.
Features: The Contour Next One is has simple but effective functionality. It has a logbook which can hold 800 results, meal markers, a “smartLight” that displays if your sugar is above, below, or in range, bluetooth, and a app.
Test Strips: The Contour Next test strips are some of the least expensive out there. You can get them for about $14 for a pack of 50 on Amazon. Really inexpensive test strips for an already free glucometer.
The OneTouch Verio Flex makers boast that the OneTouch Verio test strips have the lowest copay on most health plans and about 50% of users pay nothing for 50ct test strips. You should verify if you’re eligible, and if you are that could add up to significant savings for this free glucometer.
Features: The OneTouch Verio Flex is able to notify you if it finds a pattern of low or high blood sugar. It also syncs with an app, and has a color-coded display for blood sugar – quickly telling you if readings are high, low, or in the middle. For a free glucometer, this is pretty decent functionality.
The Abbott Freestyle creators have developed a really impressive line of glucose monitoring products. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or are interested in what the newest technology looks like, I’d recommend visiting their website.
Features: The Abbott Freestyle models are simple to use and require very little blood. Recommended for kids or the elderly, or anyone who simply doesn’t want the bells and whistles of a more complicated meter.
Customer Assistance: 1-855-632-8658
Test Strips: The VerioFlex test strips are a bit more expensive then the others on the list. You can get them for about $30 for a pack of 50 on Amazon.
Diabetes is a chronic, but controllable, disease.There are so many websites out there where you can learn more about diabetes from experts and people living with the disease. We recommend you do as much research as you can and talk to your doctor about your options. It’s also important to always consider other costs with free glucometers – like the costs of the batteries and testing strips. Finally, think about shopping at trusted sites like Total Diabetes Supply, where they specialize in diabetes products and care. You may end up paying a little more, but you’ll get a company that understands your needs better.
Recalled Accu-Check Aviva Test Strips – Due to Cracked Reagent
About one year ago, March 7th 2018, Accu-Check issued a Class 2 Recall for it’s Aviva Plus test strips. These recalled accu-check aviva test strips have a self-life of about 18 monthsaccording to the diabetes council. If you use the accu-check monitors and have any old test strips it might be a good idea double check the lot numbers.
Call Accu-Chek Customer Careline at 1-800-358-4866 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 amand 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Should I Be Cautious of Accu-Check Products in the Future?
Since the recall, there have been no new recalls or safety alerts regarding the Roche Glucometers or the test strips. Also due to the recall being limited to these four lots, I feel confident that this was an isolated event. Still, you should keep on top of recalls and alerts. If you don’t feel like you can trust the Accu-Touch product line, watch for our upcoming post on the 4 Ways to get a Free Glucometer!