Health Advice



Fact check: Biden is right about $35 insulin cap but exaggerates prior costs for Medicare enrollees

Samantha Putterman, KFF Health News on

Published in Health & Fitness

Insulin for Medicare beneficiaries “was costing 400 bucks a month on average. It now costs $35 a month.”

President Joe Biden, in a March 22 speech


The cost of insulin in the United States has risen considerably in recent years, with some estimates finding that Americans have paid around 10 times as much for the drug as people in other developed countries.

But recent changes by the federal government and drug manufacturers have started to drive insulin prices down, something President Joe Biden often mentions at campaign events.

Biden told the crowd at a March 19 campaign reception in Reno, Nevada, that he’s fought for years to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.


“How many of you know someone who needs insulin?” Biden asked. “OK, well, guess what? It was costing 400 bucks a month on average. It now costs $35 a month.”

We’ve heard Biden make this point several times on the campaign trail — in other instances, he has said beneficiaries were paying “as much as” $400 a month — so we wanted to look into it.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden signed in 2022, caps out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 a month for Medicare enrollees. The cap took effect in 2023. In response, three drug manufacturers said they planned to reduce the price of insulin to $35 through price caps or savings programs.

The legislation also helped patients by clarifying how much they would have to pay for insulin and other drugs.


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©2024 KFF Health News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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