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July 20, 2024 3:54 am

Local News

$35 monthly insulin cap under IRA aids retired nurse’s budget

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Danielle Smith, Public News Service

The Inflation Reduction Act has brought tangible improvements to Pennsylvanians’ lives.

Health care premiums are declining, monthly insulin costs are now capped, vaccinations are provided free of charge and out-of-pocket expenses are decreasing. More than 80,000 Pennsylvanians on Medicare Parts B and D now pay a maximum of $35 per month for insulin.

Steven Lubin, a retired ICU registered nurse in Philadelphia, emphasized the importance of affordable diabetes medication and applauded the Inflation Reduction Act for helping him save on insulin costs. Ludin noted he used to pay high copays, but now has access to vital medicines without sacrificing other essentials.

“When you’re on Medicare, you end up spending a lot more money,” Lubin pointed out. “By the end of the year, I’ve spent a couple thousand dollars on insulin. So, $35 a month for the insulin that I use for when I’m eating. And then I have a long-acting insulin that I also pay $35 a month for.”

Lubin emphasized the importance of expanding the Affordable Care Act to more Pennsylvanians. He added Pennsylvania has taken steps to widen health insurance coverage in the state and stressed the ongoing need for affordability assistance.

Lubin said for millions of Americans with diabetes, access to affordable medication and treatment is quite literally a matter of life and health. He added he witnessed firsthand the dire consequences when diabetic patients are unable to afford their insulin and other essential medications due to high costs.

“Over the years, I have definitely had a number of patients that were unable to afford their rents when they either had to ration the amount of insulin they were taking,” Lubin recounted. “At times they were unable to fill the prescription at all, because it was several hundred dollars per vial if you had to pay for it out of pocket.”

Lubin added it is essential for Pennsylvanians to work with their members of Congress to find the best solution to expanding the $35 co-pay for insulin throughout all insurance plans and helping people without medical insurance.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.