Novo Offers Free 90-Day Insulin Supply to People Recently Uninsured Due to COVID-19
Editor’s Note: The program outlined below only applies to those using Novo Nordisk insulins. People who take insulin require consistently affordable and predictable sources of insulin at all times. If you or a loved one are struggling to afford or access insulin, click here.
On April 14, 2020, Novo Nordisk announced a program offering a free 90-day supply of Novo Nordisk insulin (Fiasp, NovoLog, NovoRapid, Levemir, Tresiba) for individuals in the United States who have recently lost their health insurance coverage due to a change in job status because of COVID-19.
Who is eligible for the program?
The program is a temporary expansion of Novo Nordisk’s existing Diabetes Patient Assistance Program (PAP), lifting the previous proof of eligible income requirements for those who are able to provide documentation showing loss of healthcare benefits because of a job termination or job status change. Beyond the 90-day-window, further insulin assistance may be provided to those who are denied Medicaid benefits, through the end of the year.
To apply for the program, you must have a valid prescription for a Novo Nordisk insulin and meet certain eligibility criteria, which can be found on NovoCare.com or by calling 1.844.NOVO4ME (668.6463).
It is unclear from Novo Nordisk’s press release how strict the program will be – if it only pertains to those who have lost health insurance because of a job status change specifically because of COVID-19, if it only applies to those who did have health insurance coverage through their previous job or also applies to those who never had health insurance coverage in the first place. It is also currently unclear how those who are eligible will receive the insulin – either via call-in to your local pharmacy, sent directly by Novo Nordisk, or by other means – and if those eligible receive the full 90-day supply at one time or month to month.
What if you’re not eligible for the program?
If you take Novo Nordisk insulin and are having trouble paying for your insulin but have not lost your health insurance due to a change in job status because of COVID-19, Novo Nordisk also listed their other existing programs, such as their Patient Assistance Program (PAP), My$99Insulin, Immediate Emergency Supply, generics available at half price, cheaper human insulin, and copay cards. Eligibility requirements vary per program, but range based on income level, type of health insurance (including no health insurance), and more. Options can be found by entering your information on NovoCare.com or calling 1.844.NOVO4ME (668.6463).
Shining a spotlight on the insulin pricing crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a more direct spotlight on the insulin pricing crisis as many Americans face unemployment, decreased income, loss of health insurance, and general financial uncertainty.
“The pandemic is taking a serious toll on the nation’s health and economy. Millions of people are losing jobs and health coverage, and that’s especially tragic if you have a chronic disease like diabetes… We also want to dial-up our efforts to make people aware of the help that is available,” said Doug Langa, Executive Vice President, North America Operations and President of Novo Nordisk Inc.
While recent initiatives like this and the $35 monthly copay program from Lilly are steps in the right direction, people who take insulin require consistently affordable and predictable sources of insulin at all times.
If you or a loved one are struggling to afford or access insulin, click here.