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Health insurer to cap insulin prices for Minnesota patients

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

A Minnesota-based medical insurance company announced Tuesday it would cap insulin prices to combat rising costs.

Medica, headquartered in Minneapolis, will cap insulin prices for both commercial and individual members in Minnesota so they will pay no more than $25 per month, starting next year.

The announcement comes as high insulin costs have gained widespread attention nationwide and in Minnesota.

"This program is just one example of how Medica works to address the pressing health care issues our members are facing," said Medica President and CEO John Naylor in a statement.

According to the press release from Medica, the price of insulin has more than doubled in the past decade for the 30 million Americans who depend on it. 

Insulin costs took center stage at the Capitol last legislative session when the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act failed to make it into final budget negotiations thanks to an apparent clerical error.

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The bill, named for a 26-year-old Minnesota man who died rationing his insulin, had widespread bipartisan support. It would have established a manufacturer fee for the state’s three largest insulin providers in order to help individuals who cannot afford the drug.

While lawmakers were left pointing fingers after the bill did not pass last session, some progress may be underway. Lawmakers recently announced bipartisan work on a plan that could help patients who can’t afford their insulin.

The deal, which could pass in the event of a special session, would give patients access to a 20 day supply of insulin if they meet certain financial requirements. If they are still struggling to afford insulin, the supply can be extended to two months.

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