Press release

American Diabetes Association® Praises the Affordable Insulin for the COVID-19 Emergency Act

May 28, 2020 | Arlington, Virginia

Waters Bill Would Eliminate Cost-Sharing for Insulin-Dependent Seniors

The American Diabetes Association (ADA), announced its strong support today for the Affordable Insulin for the COVID-19 Emergency Act, introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA-43). The ADA called on all Members of Congress to join the measure’s 25 original co-sponsors.

The bill ensures that insulin-dependent Medicare beneficiaries are able to obtain their prescriptions for insulin and associated medical supplies with no copayments, coinsurance, deductibles or other cost-sharing for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The bill will also ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are able to obtain a 90-day supply of insulin by mail without the additional risk of going to a pharmacy.

“The Affordable Insulin for the COVID-19 Emergency Act marks a key step in protecting Americans living with diabetes at this unusually difficult time,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the ADA. “The crisis of COVID-19 disproportionately impacts those with diabetes and other related chronic diseases, many of whom are seniors whose savings and sources of income have been especially hard-hit by the nation’s economic decline. This type of urgent assistance is needed so they can remain on their medication and manage their diabetes, which is vital to protecting the diabetes community during the pandemic.”

With nearly 40 million Americans filing for unemployment since the COVID-19 crisis began, some estimate that 27 million people across the nation – including many seniors have lost their job-related health care coverage. This reality makes paying for insulin even more challenging and underlies the necessity of having policymakers at both the state and federal levels suspend all cost-sharing for insulin and other drugs for the duration of the emergency. “No one who needs medication to live should be forced to go without during this unprecedented public health and economic crisis,” Brown said.

Diabetes is the most expensive chronic disease in the United States, and as the cost of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years–between 2002 and 2013, the average price nearly tripled. 1 in 4 change their insulin use, including rationing or skipping doses of insulin due to financial difficulty. 

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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).