UnitedHealthcare Announces $0 Copay on Insulin, Glucagon + More, Beginning in 2023


On Monday, July 18, 2022, UnitedHealthcare announced $0 out-of-pocket costs under “eligible plans” on historically expensive drugs like epinephrine, albuterol, insulin, glucagon and naloxone, starting on January 1, 2023.

Out-of-pocket costs will be eliminated on certain preferred prescription drugs (i.e. the brand names of these medications that are listed on the plan’s drug formulary) for people enrolled in standard, fully-insured UnitedHealthcare (UHC) group plans. 

Brian Thompson, executive officer of UnitedHealthcare, said, “High prices are a significant barrier to prescription drugs for many people, so we are using our unique capabilities to deliver savings to consumers.”

Thompson shared his hopes that other stakeholders in the space will also “act to make prescription drugs more affordable.”

This announcement is a step forward for health insurance offerings, but there are still some key unknowns that need addressing:

  • Which UHC plans will include the $0 out-of-pocket cost?
  • Will there be individual exceptions or hurdles to utilizing the $0 out-of-pocket cost?
  • Are there any plans to expand the $0 copay offering to insulins that are not on UHC’s prescription drug formulary?
  • Will other health insurers follow suit?

People with diabetes know better than most that there tend to be caveats associated with new healthcare rules and regulations, but this announcement offers hope to the community for future affordability and access standards.

Answers to these critical unknowns should come to light as the new coverage becomes available in the new plan year. 

Beyond Type 1 will present follow-up coverage as news emerges.

WRITTEN BY Julia Flaherty, POSTED 07/19/22, UPDATED 01/10/23

Julia Flaherty is a published children’s book author, writer, editor, award-winning digital marketer, content creator and diabetes advocate. Find Julia’s first book, “Rosie Becomes a Warrior.” Julia finds therapy in building connections within the diabetes community. Being able to contribute to its progress brings her joy. She loves connecting with the diabetes communities, being creative and storytelling. You will find Julia hiking, traveling, working on her next book, or diving into a new art project in her free time. Connect with Julia on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.