Cost of Insulin Too High? Save Money with Copay Cards

Updated on April 28, 2020

Nobody ever chooses to live with diabetes. However, diabetes has selected over 34 million people in the United States alone. For those who require insulin, they may find themselves having a hard time paying for their life-saving drug.

Several people with diabetes have to make the difficult choice to choose to pay for their needed food for their family or insulin each month. Or pay for their diabetes life insurance or their insulin. 

Have you found yourself in any of these tough situations? We hope not, but many have.

With the unrealistic rise in costs for insulin, many people with diabetes find themselves facing dilemmas such as these regularly. It’s sad, but true – and should not be seen as part of our reality here in the United States.

An individual should not have to choose whether or not insulin can be afforded – it needs to be. It’s a medical necessity. It’s a life-preserving solution. And it’s price reaches new heights every day.

So, what if we told you that there is a way to save money when purchasing this much-needed insulin? All you need is a copay card.

What is a Copay Card? 

Copay cards are discounts that are given by drug manufacturers. Just because someone has insurance doesn’t necessarily mean that their copay will be affordable. Sometimes, the copays with insurance are still exorbitant. This is where manufacturers step in.

You may be wondering why manufacturers would offer discounts when their drugs are in high demand, right? Well, think about it this way – if a patient needs a medication, they are going to get it. If one drug company comes with too high of a cost, they will move on to the next drug company that offers a more affordable option.

Prescription drugs that are necessary to treat chronic illnesses, such as insulin for diabetes, are not optional. Therefore, the manufacturer’s discount allows the patient to get the medication needed – and the company can maintain a client. Makes total business sense. 

How do Copay Cards Work?

To use copay cards, patients may want to refer to the website of the manufacturing company. Often you can sign up directly on the website or call their toll-free number. You may then either print a copay card online or one will be mailed to you.

Once you receive it, put it in a safe place until your next insulin refill. Then, take your copay card with you when you head to the pharmacy. Upon checkout, hand the card to the pharmacy technician who will then apply the special code to your purchase. The computer works the numbers and presents you with a reduced copay. This lower amount is all you pay.

Let’s take a look at how the savings work with a copay card, shall we?

The amount you save depends greatly on your current copay or whether you have insurance at all! For example, someone who currently pays a copay of $60.00 for their monthly insulin may only pay $45.00 with a copay card. However, someone who has a copay of $200.00 may end up paying $100.00 with a copay card. For those who do not have any insurance at all, copay cards can provide a set monthly amount, say $99 per month, for a certain number of months (generally a one-year period).

Keep in mind that this is a general idea of savings. The exact amount you can save will depend on your current payment situation and the company supplying the savings. 

Obtain a Copay Card or Financial Assistance from these Popular Manufacturers

Now that we’ve likely sparked your interest, you may be wondering just how you can find out more information about copay cards, right? Like, who can qualify for them and how the discounts work. To give you a better feel for the way it works, we are going to look at some of the most popular insulin manufacturers and the qualifications they require for obtaining a copay card or financial assistance.

Melissa Thompson of Diabetes Life Solutions mentions, “Three of the largest insulin manufacturers are currently working with those who cannot afford their medication. While these changes are a positive ‘first’ step, we are hoping that these changes will be permanent. Nobody who requires insulin should be forced to struggle with affording a medication that they need to live.”

Here’s a quick guide that highlights the financial assistance available to certain people with diabetes.


Lilly’s copay card program is referred to as Lilly Cares. You will want to consult the application itself for the full qualification requirements. But, according to their website, you must…

  • Be a permanent, legal resident of the United States or Puerto Rico.
  • Have been prescribed a Lilly medication available through Lilly Cares.
  • Have no insurance, have Medicare Part D or insurance that does not cover the medication.
  • Not be enrolled in Medicaid, full Low-Income Subsidy, or received Veterans Benefits.

Novo Nordisk

Novo’s copay card program is dubbed NovoCare. While below is a general overview of their qualification requirements, there are certain programs (including those surrounding COVID19 and job loss) that may also assist.

According to their website, you must…

  • Be a US citizen or legal resident.
  • Have a total household income at or below 400% of the federal poverty level.
  • Have no insurance or have Medicare.
  • Not be enrolled in or not qualify for any other federal, state, or government program such as Medicaid, Low Income Subsidy, or Veterans Benefits.


Sanofi’s Patient Assistance Connection is available to help those needing assistance with their medications. While moving through the application process can give you more detailed qualifications, their website states that to qualify you must…

  • Be a resident of the U.S. or U.S. Territories.
  • Be under the care of a licensed healthcare provider authorized to prescribe, dispense, and administer medicine in the U.S. or U.S. territories.
  • Have no insurance coverage.
  • Have an annual household income at or below 400% of the current federal poverty level.
  • If enrolled in Medicare Part D, in addition to the above criteria, you must also spend at least 2% of your annual household income on prescription medications.

Final Thoughts

Medications that are required for living a healthy life are not optional. Though sometimes their expensive cost can make the reality of getting the medication seem impossible. If you have diabetes and you are struggling to purchase your insulin (or any medication) every month, don’t hesitate to reach out to the manufacturer and see what financial assistance or copay cards are available for you.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.