U.S. Payer in Minnesota (BCBS) Transcends Existing Paradigm and Offers Free Insulin to Members

Aug 26, 2019 | Diabetes, Insulin, Insurance, Payer, Price Watch

U.S. Payer in Minnesota (BCBS) Transcends Existing Paradigm and Offers Free Insulin to Members

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) will charge $0 co-pay for insulin marking the largest consumer relief for diabetic coverage available through Minnesota health insurance marketplace MNsure

TrialSite News has covered in PriceWatch claims that approximately 25% of diabetic patients in America cannot afford insulin. We also noted a study evidencing that competition does little, if anything, to impact insulin prices. The impact of rising insulin prices has rippled through Minnesota and Blue Cross is responding with a new $0 co-pay policy in certain plans.

Enter Blue Cross Minnesota

Blue Cross Minnesota, starting January 1, 2020, will include Tier 1 and Tier 2 insulin options as a covered benefit with no member cost-sharing in plans where Blue Cross sets the health plan benefits and manages the financial risk. (Fully ensured plans).

CEO Position

Dr. Craig Samitt, president and CEO notes, “the problem is much larger than insulin.” He continued, “More must be done to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the astronomical and arbitrary prices they set for medications that treat a range of serious and chronic issues. With no oversight or accountability, these companies will continue to charge whatever they want, with impunity. As a state, we need to work together and address the root causes of what is making affordable treatment out of reach for too many people.”


This benefit is only applicable to commercial fully insured plans. They don’t apply to the plans companies and organization underwrite—in those cases, Blue Cross is involved as a third party administrator. However for self-insured, Blue Cross has the ability to administer a similar insulin benefit inthe direction of self-insured clients.

Blue Cross and Blue of Shield Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.9 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.


Pin It on Pinterest