In 2020, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, which Governor Tim Walz signed into law on April 15, 2020. The Act creates an Insulin Safety Net Program that will aid individuals who can’t afford insulin.
One part of the program allows eligible individuals who are in urgent need of insulin to get a one-time, 30-day supply of insulin from their pharmacy, for a $35 co-pay. An urgent need supply can normally be obtained only once in a 12-month period. However, there is an option for some individuals to receive a second 30-day supply in certain circumstances.
To be eligible for the urgent need program you must:
You can normally access an urgent-need insulin supply only once in a 12-month period. However, if you are waiting for your Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare coverage to begin, or if you have been determined ineligible for a manufacturer’s patient assistance program by the manufacturer and are waiting for the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy’s decision on an appeal, you may be eligible to access a second 30-day supply.
To get longer-term help covering your insulin costs, see if you qualify for the continuing need program.
Most insulins that are dispensed by community pharmacies will be covered. Insulins not covered include:
No. You must take a completed paper form to your pharmacist.
If you are not able to print or download the application form, please ask your pharmacist for the “urgent need insulin application.”
All pharmacies located within Minnesota and licensed in the community/outpatient category must participate in the Minnesota Insulin Safety Net Program. This includes chain pharmacies, independent pharmacies, and the outpatient pharmacies of some hospitals.
A pharmacist may refuse to fill an eligible individual’s insulin prescription only if:
If a pharmacy does not have the insulin in stock, the pharmacist will work with you to determine if you can wait to fill your prescription until they are able to get it in stock. If not, the pharmacist should, whenever possible, assist you in locating another nearby pharmacy that does have the insulin in stock.
If a pharmacist believes that filling the prescription might be harmful, the pharmacist should contact the prescriber to discuss and resolve the concerns.
Pharmacists or their staff can assist in making sure that the application is correctly filled out.
If a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription, you can go to another pharmacy and ask them to fill the prescription.
Yes. You can file a complaint with the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. You can find information and the process to file a complaint on the Board of Pharmacy’s website.
You can also call the Board of Pharmacy’s office at (651)201-2825 or send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a complaint packet.
Your county social services department may be able to help. The Minnesota Department of Human Services maintains a directory of county and tribal human service offices on its website.
Counties may refer to the department that can help you by different names, such as: Economic Assistance, Financial Services, Human Services, Community Services, etc.