UHC drops Tresiba, Levemir, Basaglar

Just got a letter in the mail from United Health Care - no more Tresiba for me! Guess I’ll be going back to Lantus even though Tresiba worked so much better for me.

List of UHC “drugs excluded from benefit coverage” effective May 1/July 1: https://www.uhc.com/content/dam/uhcdotcom/en/Pharmacy/PDFs/Advantage-3-Tier-PDL-UPDATE-Eff-May-1-2020.pdf

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Non-medical Rx switching should be outlawed. It’s hard enough for us patients to get the best insulin for us to work well; financial middlemen interfering with our preferred medicine is reprehensible.


Hi Tim!
That STINKS!!! I’m curious, because I’m on Lantus - did you find that you gained weight on it? I came off all of my medication (insulin pump and all) for a year due to no insurance. I lost so much weight. Now that I have insurance again and they’ve put me back on all of my meds (except the pump yet), I’m putting the weight back on. I truly believe it’s the Lantus that is doing it. It also burns like crazy when I do the injections.


Adjusting dose on insulin is complicated. Doses of the long-acting insulins are not numerically the same each other and not necessarily numerically the same as basal dose with short-acting in a pump.

If found that I need only 14 units of Tresiba a day as compared to 20 units of Lantus a day.

I wouldn’t blame weight gain on insulin by itself but if at some times of day it is requiring you to eat to not go low, then the absorption timing is far less than optimal. I found Tresiba to not be perfectly flat but I really like how it peaked 8-10 hours after the injection which means that when I take it in the evening that it’s broad peak in early AM completely stomps any dawn phenomenon.

My insurance company stopped paying for Tresiba, so I had my GP call the insurance company and tell them that for various reasons it was medically necessary for me to remain on it. I left a long list with my GP listing all the reasons why Tresiba is the best insulin that I have used. The insurance company approved it for another year.

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I’m not gonna tell my doc or the insurance company but I’ve got a substantial stockpile of Tresiba :-). I know not everyone is so lucky. I actually have a stash of expired Lantus from 3 years ago before I switched to Tresiba.

My switch from Lantus to Tresiba was actually because the previous insurance company stopped paying for Lantus. In my particular case I think switching to Tresiba was a real improvement in several respects.

But I suppose whatever backroom dealing that results in the insurance company execs and middlemen and insulin manufacturers getting the biggest kickbacks, is more important than what the drug actually does to help me.

I was trying to use some very recently expired Novolog and it suddenly stopped working for me. I finally had to throw some cartridges away. I was quite disappointed because I had never tried to use expired insulin before and hoped it was still good. It was definitely expired even though the expiration date was 5/20.

Marilyn, on old stockpiles:

I think if it had been unrefrigerated for weeks, or frozen even briefly, that it would be “bad”.

And older insulin stockpiles are more likely to have suffered this, than more recent ones.

Some other folks here have remarked about malfunctioning refrigerators freezing their insulin stash.

Nope no freezing, no heat.

You can get Tresiba without insurance for only $33 per vial.

(It has to be purchased in groups of 3 vials or 2 packs of pens. It is $99 per 3 vials or 10 pens.)

But it basically comes out to only $33 per vial!

My$99Insulin is the name of the deal by Novo Nordisk.

Text from their page:

All patients may be eligible to get a 30-day supply of a combination of Novo Nordisk insulin products (up to 3 vials or 2 packs of pens) for $99 for up to 12 months.

Their page:

And here is a discussion reference on FUD. I have done this, it is legit and works. Does not matter if you have insurance or not. You just need a prescription, which you already have.

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My pharmy gave me months of insulin for flu. Fridge highly sketchy. I’m very scared.

Have no idea what you are saying.

Translation: My pharmacist gave me months worth of insulin in preparation for the flu-apocalypse. I own an old fridge that doesn’t keep reliable temperature. Worried it would all freeze. It didn’t though. I’m still using the same supply. That post was 11 months ago and I have not needed to refill once.

Ok then. That makes more sense

i have UHC myself and when i found out they didnt cover novolog and levimir i was like what…well you covered it last time. i had to go back onto humolog and lantus as it didnt work before but works again now. well sometimes it does. im on an insulin pump so i rarely use the lantus. it seems UHC isnt covering a lot of meds it seems. their list is big but the meds that i need isnt covered that i had to switch to different ones. i know this is an old post but i hope you were able to find a solution to the situation

It’s been almost a year and I’ve been working my way through my Tresiba stockpile. (I believe I strongly hinted that my stockpile was large!)

I have some hope that UHC will begin covering Tresiba again. But if not, when I start running low on Tresiba I’m already signed up for “My $99 insulin” program here my99insulin