Money Matters and a Sneaky Diabetes Trick

Healthpartners has asked me to pay out of pocket for my last two insulin Rx’s: Lantus (which they no longer cover and I needed after hardware failure) and Humalog (which ran $300 out of pocket. I found that I could substitute $150 R, without a prescription, thanks to Tu).

That extra $300 out of pocket eats up the entire federal rebate I received from for privately purchasing a health insurance policy. Anybody else gotten kicked off Lantus this year? Which basal did they substitute and how do you feel about the cost/effectiveness of a new basal? I’m a little nervous about switching to an new, unknown basal when I’m already adjusting to coming off the pump. Been on and off the pump twice this month while I try and gain access to hardware/medications that make the pump possible.

I think that I will try and turn a negative into a positive and gather data on different insulins and see if there’s any difference in BG, since they keep bumping me from one to another. Always wanted to do that.

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You can do even better than that. Walmart regular insulin goes for $24.95 here. It is nothing more or less than Novolin R, repackaged.

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Gosh darn it! Another diabetic around town told me that, but I panicked and went to the closest pharmacy. I knew I should check Walmart. Well, goes to show I should have an emergency plan ready in advance. Thanks for the reminder, David.

Hate to break it to you, but the insulin Walmart sells as “Regular” is not the same as Humalog. It is not a “rapid” insulin, it is a “short acting” insulin. They are not the same.

It can keep you alive, but it is not a direct swap. Not even close.

Unless I missed something in the fine print, nobody claimed it was; just that it could be used as a workable substitute. Which it can, and is, by many people.

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I know, but it was worth it to avoid a $300 out of pocket. How different it is, I haven’t actually tested, personally. I’m gonna take a look at the data. So far, so good. I am, frankly, more concerned about swapping into NPH. I took R and NPH for years as a kid, so no danger. Been there, done that.

Which basal insulins does your plan cover? There are several new ones including a Lantus clone on the market right now so that you shouldn’t be required to go to NPH. I don’t know the specifics because my health insurance just requires a co-pay for Lantus which I just keep around in case my pump fails.

I’m on a pump, as well, and during the most recent hardware failure, I found that Lantus was no longer covered. Basaglar was most recently prescribed, but I have never used it. I think its new. Basaglar Is that the clone?

It is relatively recent, yes.

Yes. Although if you look at some message boards, some people who were forced to switch are having a terrible time.

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Well of course they do behave quite differently, and you need to learn to use them accordingly. I use R for meals when I am able to prebolus, and fast acting for those situations where I can’t, or for corrections. That cuts down the total cost significantly. Besides which, my home-prepared meals are low carb/high protein, and R is simply better suited for those.


I’m not sure if you were responding to my last comment. I was saying that some people who were forced to switch from Lantus to Basaglar were having a tough time.


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Ah. I was responding, and inappropriately because I misconstrued your comment. I thought you were contrasting R with fast acting. My mistake. :disappointed:

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If you are willing to change your basal to Tresiba you can get a discount card from them . The Tresiba insulin will cost you $15 a month for up to 24 refills. Only restrictions are you cant be on any federal or state insurance plan or Medicaid/Medicare. I was skeptical at first as to the massive discount but it works. :slight_smile: As an added bonus Tresiba is actually really good basal insulin.

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The OP made a comment about “substituting” one for the other. I just wanted to point out how different they are, in case the OP didn’t know…

I’m really behind on all the new basals. Thanks for the quick re-education camp. Haven’t tried Trebia either. I think Toujeo be the Lantus clone. I had an emergency Rx for that, but never used.