Skip to main content

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota latest to slash patient insulin costs

The insurer is the latest provider to tackle the rising cost of insulin.

Another Minnesota insurer is looking to fight rising insulin prices, this time by eliminating patient costs completely.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced Thursday it would cut co-pays for insulin for patients under “fully insured” plans starting January of next year. This includes patients on the MNSure program.

“Our first responsibility is to do what we can to improve the health and financial stability of our members,” said Craig Samitt, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, in a statement. "We felt a responsibility to address the skyrocketing cost of insulin with the options we have available. Hopefully our action will provide some measure of financial relief to many of our members who live with diabetes."

Blue Cross follows two other Minnesota-based insurance providers in limiting the cost of the life-saving drugs. Medica and UCare both announced $25 caps on patient insulin costs earlier this summer.

These initiatives come as lawmakers continue to grapple with how to reduce insulin prices for Minnesotans.

Unable to pass the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act last legislative session, lawmakers said earlier this summer that they would continue to work on policies via a special session.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

And earlier this month, Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) urged Sen. Michelle Benson at a Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee meeting to hold a hearing on insulin funding. Benson said not enough work has been done to merit a hearing.

Jensen argued lawmakers first need to clarify what the role of the Minnesota Department of Human Services would be in drafting policy given the department’s current state of transition.

“I was thinking of a hearing that would do the work of stakeholders involvement and having maybe DHS. Questions have come up, whether or not DHS in its present state is perhaps ideally positioned in its present state to be able to handle a role in this,” Jensen said at the meeting. 

Next Up

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 18

Minnesota has reached 11,000 COVID-19 deaths.


Vikings must continue building out receiving corps in 2022

Justin Jefferson headlines a young, promising group, but more depth is still needed



Health insurer to cap insulin prices for Minnesota patients

The move comes as rising costs have prompted action at the state Capitol.


Another MN-based insurer will cap insulin prices

The move comes as officials continue to debate how to address rising insulin costs.


Big Pharma's challenge to Minnesota's affordable insulin law is dismissed

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America filed the lawsuit the day before the Alec Smith Affordable Insulin Act went into effect.


Clinic security guard charged with stealing boxes of insulin

There is currently high demand for affordable insulin for diabetes sufferers.

Minnesota House passes emergency insulin bill, despite GOP opposition

There remains disagreement over how affordable insulin access should be funded.

Jeremy munson

Lawmaker's Walmart insulin video criticized as 'irresponsible'

Democrats have pointed out that over-the-counter insulin isn't suitable for many diabetics.


On day MN's new insulin law goes into effect, drug group sues to stop it

The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act goes into effect July 1.