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$0 charge for insulin. NC State Health plan members get it free starting January

With the new year comes a new provision for folks who need to take insulin.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Zero. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nil.  A big ole' goose-egg.
What's this about? Members of the NC State Health plan are about pay zero, nada, nothing, zip, zilch, nil for insulin, and that's big.

“As a maintenance drug, we felt it was important to reduce the financial barriers for those who teach, protect, and otherwise serve. With the state health plan, we can remove the financial barrier of insulin,” said NC State Treasurer Dale Folwell.

 Folwell says the financial barriers have increased over time. The price of insulin has gone up 64% since 2014 and the cost of Diabetes, from drugs, treatments, and doctors' appointments is expected to be near $17 billion by 2025.

When drug prices are high, folks sometimes make difficult decisions to put their health at risk to pay other bills. With insulin being free, the overall cost of diabetes could go down and that also saves all taxpayers money.

“If we get drug adherence on insulin, that will lower the overall cost of the state health plan, and we can use those saving to invest in more things.
We're trying to flatten the curve on rising health care and pharmaceutical costs,” said Folwell.

The zero-charge for insulin is due to renegotiating contracts with Medicare and insurance companies as well as the state using reserve money to cover the cost.

Here's what you need to know. The zero cost for insulin begins on January 1, 2021. This is for folks on the state health plan under the age of 65.

Those over the age of 65 are covered by Medicare Advantage.