Assistance for insulin dependent diabetics in Stanislaus and Merced counties

August 23, 2022


To: EMC Health Foundation Directors

From: Jeffrey Lewis, President and CEO (209/250-2315)

Re: Creating a Lifesaving Solution: The $2 Charitable Insulin Relief Plan

Date: August 22, 2022


Diabetes has become one of the nation’s most vexing cost and health challenges and is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. and California. Across the country, more than 9 million adults take insulin daily.

Nationally, more than 35 million people live with this disease. To put that in perspective, one in ten Americans is affected by diabetes. The California Department of Public Health estimates that in 2017, one out of every nine adults in California were diagnosed with diabetes.

While it is unthinkable for individuals and families in financial distress to choose between food, medicine, or being able to drive to work, that is today’s reality.

Research tells us that one in four insulin-dependent diabetics report rationing the required dosage or stopping it. Rationing is not new but can be life-threatening. Patient nonadherence is one of the most significant factors associated with poor health (and lack of glycemic control) for type two diabetes.

Rising out-of-pocket costs required by health insurers continue to impact low-income workers and middle-income families who do not qualify for Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program). The working poor often struggles with being underinsured. Many more workers select High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP), which offer a lower monthly premium but require families to spend more out of their pocket before the insurance plan is implemented. For example, if the family deductible is $2,700, they must first spend that $2,700 before lifesaving insulin would be covered, which means paying the cash price.

To help address this growing problem in Stanislaus and Merced counties, the EMC Health Foundation is launching a $2 Charitable Insulin Relief Plan beginning immediately and running through Dec. 31, 2022, for financially needy individuals and families with inadequate employer-provided insurance or no insurance.

Unfortunately, people enrolled in Medi-Cal, Medicare, and Tricare (Veterans’ benefits) are not eligible due to special rules imposed by those programs.

The $2 Charitable Insulin Relief Plan is a pilot program limited to only qualifying residents of the following communities and ZIP codes: 95301, 95303, 95307, 95313, 95315, 95316, 95322, 95324, 95326, 95328, 95334, 95358, 95360, 95363, 95374, 95380, 95381 (P.O. Boxes only), 95382, or 95388.

Regardless of what you have been paying for your insulin, if you qualify, under the Charitable Insulin Relief Plan, it will only cost you $2 per month (per prescription). EMC Health Foundation’s Insulin Relief Plan will make up the difference. At a time of skyrocketing inflation causing high gasoline and food costs, people with diabetes need extra financial relief.

Here is how the program works:

1. Go online to and click on services and then PharmAffordable Insulin Relief Plan.

2. Complete the form and hit send.

3. Or bring your insulin prescription to the TIN Rx Pharmacy located at 1801 Colorado Ave. in Turlock, where you can fill out the needed form.

4. Or ask the TIN Rx pharmacist to call your local pharmacy and have the prescription transferred.

To be eligible

The $2 Insulin Relief Plan will help individuals and families in need. From now until December 31, 2022, a patient will pay a total of $8 ($2 a month) for their needed insulin, compared to the hundreds of dollars they are spending now for a four-month supply.

As prices of life-saving insulin continue to soar, more and more people are left scrambling to afford it. Our goal with the $2 Charitable Insulin Relief Plan is to focus on needy individuals and families who are seeing inflation eat away at their paycheck and struggle with the rising gasoline prices and the increasing challenge to pay for food. Our goal is to help ensure that insulin-dependent diabetics can access affordable medications today.

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