Insurance not covering Humalog starting Jan 1! Options?

Just received a letter in the mail from my insurance company that said starting Jan 1st they will no longer cover Humalog. They also said they recommend I switch to Novolog because they will cover the Novolog. I use the omnipod pump right now but will be switching to the T-Slim hopefully in the near future. Can I use Novolog in the omnipod and T-Slim pumps. I hate it when insurance companies decide what is best for us. How would they like it if I said I will no longer pay them with US currency but will pay them in Euros or the paso. Thanks in advance for your remarks.

In July I had the opposite letter from my insurance – they wanted to stop allowing me to get Novolog or Apidra in favor of Humalog. In my case, I have a bad (allergic?) reaction to Humalog, so it is an unacceptable choice. My doctor wrote a prior approval letter to get that change rescinded, so I can get either Novolog or Apidra.

As to your question, Novolog should work just fine in either the Omnipod or the T:Slim – I know of people using it in both of those pumps, and I believe it is approved in both of those pumps (Apidra is not recommended in the T:Slim, I believe). I used Novolog and Apidra in the Omnipod without any problems.

You might find the DIA for Novolog to be a bit less than Humalog - at least it is for me.

It’s like some weird pharmacological musical chairs with one
insurance company favoring Humalog and another Novolog, and then they switch
next year.

Here’s what @Holger said about the chemical/physical
difference in a previous discussion, I really appreciated that:

Novolog: the amino acid, B28, which is normally
proline, is substituted with an aspartic acid residue.

Humalog: the penultimate lysine and proline
residues on the C-terminal end of the B-chain are reversed.

I’d used novo log with MDI forever… One of my insurance plans (the more affordable one) switched to humalog at the beginning of 2015. I tried it. I hated it. Opted to use my higher priced plan to cover novolog instead. Not sure if it’s a two-way street or not, I’d posted on the subject and gotten some good feedback-- but personally, for my specific needs, I consider novolog superior to humalog. The general consensus of my post, though, when I asked a similar question, was that most people thought they were essentially interchangeable… And I suppose in the grand scheme they may be, but my control is better with novolog. For me, novolog sets on a little quicker and lingers less long. Humalog seemed to onset more gradually and linger longer… A weaker peak, a longer tail— I defined it as “watered down.” You can use either with any pump.

Not an issue if you are pumping, but also it absolutely drove me crazy that the humalog pen doesn’t click when injecting— absolutely no way to verify you’ve injected anything at all. What a foolish design-- it clicks when dialing up a dose, why not when injecting it?

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I thought the same about Apidra when I tried that (faster onset, less tail, but for me also less predictable). I think sometimes we prefer what we know from months or years of studied use.

Agreed. The one advantage of Humalog is that it comes in cartridges for 1/2-unit pens. For those of us still doing MDI, I wish all the fast acting insulins had this option.

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I agree. When I was using the Asante Snap pump - which I loved - my bad reaction to Humalog threatened to derail me. I discovered through a few online hints and a bit of experimentation, that Apidra pens contain cartridges that are close enough in dimensions to Homalog pen-fills that they fit and worked properly in the Snap pump bodies. Just took a few seconds with a pocket knife or wire cutter to “free” them…

Novo Noridsk does again sell a refillable pen and - at least according to my insurance company’s online pharmacy - does sell Novolog in pen-fill cartridges. I think that the Novo Nordisk rep I spoke with said that the new refillable pens do half units.

I use the Omnipod, and Novolog is all I’ve ever put into it. I can’t speak for T-slim.

Three words:

Damned insurance companies!


My insurance dropped humalog four years ago. I had tried novo log but preferred humalog but now I have no options. I thought novolog had a faster onset but a longer tail.

With the same Insurance I have switched both ways Humalog to Novolog & back to Humalog. I never saw any difference is insulin doses or absorbtion rates

Cigna sent me a letter too. They want me to switch from Apidra to either Humalog or Novolog. I am torn. My endo is asking for an exception. In the meantime I will try my luck with a Humalog sample.

I was forced to change from Humalog to Novolog last year. It had something to do with the price of Humalog going up. I resisted, but with I had no choice. Turns out, it was no big deal at all! What a relief! Obviously your results may vary. Hopefully it will work out for you.

I’ve got an Omnipod, by the way.

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It’s the bid process. Depending on which pharmaceutical gets the low bid gets the contract. I’ve switched so many times I’ve lost track. I am lucky that they all basically work the same in my body. At least they aren’t telling you to use R so the health plan can save money!

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I see that some found Novolog and Humalog work about the same for them. Sam19 said Novolog worked faster. My experience was the opposite. For me, while they both started action in about 30 to 40 minutes, the duration of action for my typical meal dose was at least four hours for Humalog and five hours for Novolog.

I’m now on Apidra, and most of the action is done in three hours for me. But wouldn’t you know it, my insurance company is dropping it from the Medicare supplement insurance I’m on in January. I’ll be switching companies. Unfortunately only one of the 24 companies which serve this area will cover it in 2016.

Don’t you love how the insurance companies dictate care?

My insurance did the same switch last year (in two years of having diabetes, my insurance went from covering Novolog to Humalog and then back to Novolog -why can’t they make up their minds?). Novolog works fine with the TSlim, though there has been documented issues with Aprida not being compatible with the TSlim. From what I remember, Aprida has a higher likelihood of crystallizing within the cartridge and causing occlusions.

I don’t know if it is the Novolog or me not having as many fatty sites, but I find bolusing with Novolog a bit more painful. It’s almost like a milder Lantus burn.