Minnesota Senate Republicans recently announced the Minnesota Insulin Patient Assistance Program, a new plan to provide access to insulin for Minnesotans unable to afford its high cost. The program would require insulin drug manufacturers to provide insulin to Minnesota doctors on behalf of eligible patients.

“Minnesotans should have access to life-saving medications, including insulin. This is a good step forward in addressing the high costs of insulin and the need for action,” said District 17 Sen. Andrew Lang of Olivia. “If we can come to an agreement with the House and the governor, we could have this program implemented by Jan. 1.”

To qualify, Minnesotans with diabetes must have a family income less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level and not be covered by another state or federal healthcare program.

Qualified patients would work with their doctor’s office to acquire the free insulin from the manufacturers, fostering stronger doctor-patient relationships.

Patients would use the MNsure portal to receive an eligibility statement for the program, and MNsure would have five days to determine eligibility. Doctors would then use the patient eligibility statement to order a 120-day supply of insulin from the preferred manufacturer.

Patients would remain eligible for the program for one year and would be allowed to reorder insulin during that time.