Eligible members will pay $0 out of pocket for preferred short and long-acting insulins and emergency use drugs that are critical in acute, life-saving circumstances
UnitedHealthcare will eliminate out-of-pocket costs in standard fully insured group plans for certain preferred prescription drugs, including insulin and several drugs used to treat emergencies such as severe allergic reactions, hypoglycemia, opioid overdoses, and acute asthma attacks. This new standard offering will be available to group fully insured plans potentially as early as January 1, 2023, subject to any required regulatory approval.
Eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for these critical medications can help reduce the burden of medical costs on consumers and encourage better medication adherence, reducing the risk of complications and expensive hospitalizations.
These actions are part of UnitedHealth Group’s ongoing efforts to ensure people get the drugs they need and to make health care more affordable. Offering these preferred drugs at $0 cost share builds on past moves by both UnitedHealthcare and Optum Rx, including point-of-sale discounts that have delivered millions of dollars of savings directly to consumers at the pharmacy counter.
“High prices are a significant barrier to prescription drugs for many people, so we are using our unique capabilities to deliver savings for consumers,” said Brian Thompson, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare. “We are doing what we can to shield people from the prices set by pharmaceutical companies, and hope all stakeholders also will act to make prescription drugs more affordable.”
In addition to insulin, four preferred emergency use medications will be included in the new standard offering and will also have a $0 cost share:
- Epinephrine – severe allergic reactions
- Glucagon – hypoglycemia
- Naloxone – opioid overdoses
- Albuterol – acute asthma attacks