Best Ways To Save: September 2019

Best Ways To Save: September 2019

Attention Diabetics!

New Drug Plan Program Lowers Cost of Lantus to as little as $6.00 to $11.00

Increased Congressional scrutiny of drug pricing practices, particularly for the pricing of insulin, appears to be prompting some insurers to lower the cost of insulin on which so many diabetics depend to control their blood sugar.  In April of this year, Cigna and Express Scripts announced one such plan to reduce out-of-pocket costs for insulin for some customers.

In comparing frequently prescribed drugs for TSCL’s 2019 drug price comparison report, we found a new drug plan pricing program with estimated co-pays for Lantus Solostar so low, that it prompted Advisor editor, Mary Johnson, to contact the drug plan to confirm accuracy.  Here’s why.  Last year, the lowest cost drug plan charged about $80 for 100/ML of Lantus Solostar.  This year, the lowest cost plan Cigna-HealthSpring Rx Secure — Extra Part D plan charges copays as low as $6.00 - $11.00 for Lantus Solostar.  The highest cost plan, which does not cover Lantus, charges the full price, $383.18 per 100/ML.

Jennifer Luddy, Director of External Affairs for Cigna replied to our inquiry saying:

Cigna Medicare PDP has a number of different Prescription Drug Plan offerings with different premiums, deductibles and formularies in order to meet all health needs and budgets.  On our Cigna-HealthSpring Rx Secure-Extra plan, which is available nationally, this drug (Lantus Solostar Inj is available for as low as a $6 copay as long as customers use a preferred pharmacy and they are not in the donut hole or catastrophic phase.  The cost-share is more for customers in most of our other plans, including our MAPD (Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug) plans.

Editor’s note:  Unlike some senior advocacy groups, TSCL does NOT receive any income from drug makers.  If you are a diabetic and take Lantus Solostar, we strongly recommend that you get help and compare ALL of your drug plan options during the upcoming Medicare fall Open Enrollment period that starts October 15th and ends on December 7th, to learn if the Cigna-HealthSpring Rx Secure plan can lower your drug costs.  While co-pays may change for 2019, it’s worth the effort since other plans still charge higher co-pays.

Part D plan changes become effective on January 1, 2020.  You can get top-notch free one-on-one counseling and help to switch to better drug plans through your state health insurance assistance program, many of which operate through Area Agencies on Aging.  Local program contact info can be found at