We have individuals that are looking for ways to get free diabetic supplies. Their medical expenses are more than two times higher than someone who does not have diabetes. This article gives a guide on you can get your free diabetic supplies.
Living with diabetes is expensive. The more advanced our technology and medication options became, the more expensive they become, too.
With some diabetes medications costing hundreds of dollars per month, the cost of test strips alone can wipe out your bank account.
Whether you have insurance or not obviously plays a big role in how your medications, but even for those with insurance, diabetes ain’t cheap!
In this article:
- How to get free diabetic supplies
- Free Diabetic Supplies
How to Get Free Diabetic Supplies
It’s no secret that the price of medical supplies can add up. We’ve put together this information to help you understand the various cost-efficient methods of getting discounted or free diabetic supplies.
Here are more options to help you save money on your insulin!
Ask the Manufacturers
Each of the three insulin manufacturers offers a savings program that can help.
Eli Lilly is introducing an authorized generic version of Humalog that will be available at a 50% discount.
As discussed above, they also host the Lilly Diabetes Solutions Center, which is designed to help low-income patients access free and discounted insulin.
Novo Nordisk offers a copay Savings Card, in addition to the free insulin program, we described above. When you activate the Savings Card, you will receive one free box of Novo Nordisk needles.
When you use the card to purchase your eligible insulin prescription, you’ll pay as little as $25 per 30-day supply. Exact pricing and terms can be found on their website. Sanofi offers a patient assistance program, described above.
Adjust Your Prescription
You may be able to save money if you opt for an older, vial-based insulin prescription. Currently, over 96% of insulin prescriptions are for expensive analogs. Many are for insulin pens.
However, older versions of insulin like Novolin and Humulin R are much cheaper than analogs. You can also save a lot of money by opting for vials instead of pens.
The downside to this, of course, is that the older insulin versions are not as consistent. You will need to test your blood sugar more often and time your doses more carefully. However, this is still better than running completely out of insulin.
Talk to Your Insurance Provider
Find out what insulins are covered by your insurance provider. Ask for a list of covered medications and their co-payments. With this information, you may be able to find a cheaper alternative than what your doctor has prescribed.
You usually can’t combine coupons and insurance coverage, so you may discover that your insulin is actually cheaper without insurance.
Check Discount Pharmacy Cards And Options
Health insurance is a nightmare, right? Fortunately, there are discount savings cards and other programs that can help.
For example, Blink Health is working with Eli Lilly to offer a 40% discount on Lilly’s insulin. The discount is honored at 67,000 local pharmacies nationwide. Anyone can participate because there are no monthly fees or premiums.
Blink Health also has a Roche Diabetes Patient Care program that offers a free Accu-Chek Guide meter, discounted test strips and more.
Shop Around at Different Pharmacies
Different pharmacies may have different prices. Ask your pharmacy for a price list. They may have more affordable options that they don’t advertise.
Many sources have reported that Walmart Pharmacies offer an older human insulin for $25 per vial.
Search for Medical Grants
Many programs and memorial foundations offer grants to help low-income families that are struggling with medical expenses.
For example, Abby’s All-Stars assists families of children with Type 1 Diabetes who are struggling to afford medical expenses.
Look for Local Programs that Can Help
There are many local charities that provide prescription assistance. Here are the ones we’ve found so far:
- Free Medical Equipment in all 50 States!
- MS: Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi
- MN: Can Do Canines Diabetes Assistance Dogs
- NV: CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada and NV Diabetes Association
- NJ: Diabetes Foundation
- WA: 50+ Prescription Assistance Programs in WA State
- WI: Can Do Canines Diabetes Assistance Dogs
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Free Diabetic Supplies
A glucose meter is an essential product for anyone with diabetes. It’s a medical device that measures the levels of glucose in the blood so you can properly manage your diabetes.
Glucose meter prices can range from $60 to $100 on average.
One of the easiest ways to get a free glucose meter is to contact the manufacturer directly.
The majority of manufacturers offer free glucose monitors as a way to entice patients to purchase other brand-name supplies, such as glucose test strips, through the manufacturer. Contour, for example, offers free meters.
With that in mind, before selecting which free glucose meter you’d like, be sure to compare the prices of the manufacturer’s other diabetes products, particularly its test strips.
Also, compare prices and programs at your local pharmacy, as you can purchase over-the-counter glucometers without a prescription.
Some brands you may want to consider reaching out to for free blood glucose meters include:
- Contour Next
A needled syringe is used by people with diabetes to inject insulin.
In most U.S. states, patients can purchase insulin syringes without a prescription. However, age restrictions and limits on quantities can vary, so be sure to check the regulations and rules in your state.
As with glucose monitors, one way to reduce the cost of insulin syringes is to go directly to the manufacturer. Some manufacturers also offer patient assistance programs, although some eligibility requirements apply.
It can also be beneficial to purchase syringes in bulk to reduce the cost per unit.
Medicare Part D also covers syringes. To access this prescription drug coverage, you must enroll in a Medicare drug program.
If you are eligible, Medicare Part D covers syringes used to administer insulin; however, you may still need to pay coinsurance or copayment. A Medicare Part D deductible may also apply.
Diabetes Test Strips
Diabetes test strips are a fast, easy way to test your blood glucose levels. Knowing your blood sugar levels is essential to treating diabetes and helps you manage your condition effectively.
Glucose test strips are one of the most expensive supplies required to monitor and treat diabetes. They can be purchased without a prescription at the pharmacy, online, and directly through the manufacturer.
Prices can vary significantly from 15 cents to $1.50 per strip, so we recommend shopping around to find the best deal.
One way to save is to buy test strips in bulk. Although it does mean a considerable initial outlay of cash, it does lower the cost per strip.
If you have Medicare Part B, you may also be eligible for coverage on glucose test strips, as they are considered durable medical equipment (DME).
You’ll only be covered, however, if both your healthcare provider and DME supplier have enrolled in Medicare. The Part B deductible applies, plus you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved price.
Many insurers will also cover diabetes test strips; however, they can still be expensive due to deductibles and copays.
Be sure to check which brands your insurer covers, as some only allow coverage for “preferred” brands, and also make sure these brands will work with your blood glucose meter.
An insulin pump is used most commonly by those with type 1 diabetes. It’s a small, battery-operated device that stores and releases insulin.
These pumps help mimic the way a healthy pancreas would usually function and are considered an expensive but convenient alternative to taking insulin injections multiple times a day.
Insulin infusion pumps are one of the more expensive options to treat diabetes. They reportedly cost about $4,500 per person per year without insurance, not including additional costs for supplies, which can exceed $1,500.
Insulin pumps can be covered by insurance, depending on your health plan. However, many insurers will only cover one pump every few years, so be prepared to keep your pump in working condition for some time.
Other ways people save on their pumps is to purchase directly from the manufacturer or to apply to patient assistance programs.
People with medical Conditions such as diabetes, wear MedicAlert bracelets, otherwise known as medical identification tags.
The tags bear personal information about the person’s medical condition or allergies, should they be unable to speak, and require urgent medical attention. It helps emergency medical responders effectively treat the person.
Some insurance plans may even reimburse you for the cost of your bracelet.
There are many options available, with the most popular being stainless steel. Prices can range from just a few dollars, up to $200 for more elaborate, hi-tech solutions.
Some non-profits, like the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, provide free diabetes ID necklaces upon request.
1. How do I get my diabetic supplies through Medicare?
Diabetic supplies can be eligible for coverage under Medicare Part B and Part D. However, you may not get free diabetic supplies with Medicare. You may still have to pay a copay and deductible, but the cost could still be less than it would without Medicare or other insurance.
2. Does OHIP cover diabetic supplies?
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) can offer some level of coverage for diabetic supplies. Still, you must meet income-based eligibility requirements.
3. Can you claim disability for diabetes?
In some cases, you can claim disability for diabetes; however, not everyone qualifies. Generally, you must have uncontrolled diabetes or serious health problems due to an inability to control your diabetes to receive disability benefits.
4. Where can I get free insulin?
Over the last few years, the cost of insulin has skyrocketed. If you are struggling to pay for your insulin, three drug manufacturers may offer immediate prescription assistance: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi. The American Diabetes Association has more information on how to access cheaper insulin through manufacturers.
5. How can you buy diabetes care products online?
There are several ways to buy diabetes care products online. Big-box retailers, pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS, and online retailers all offer extensive options of diabetes care supplies such as test strips. You can also access free coupons from SingleCare to reduce the cost of these supplies.
In an ideal world, insulin would be as cheap as Viagra. Unfortunately, the system is currently working against us and making living well with diabetes an extremely expensive burden.
If you’re currently forced to choose between paying your rent or buying your insulin, know that there are people out there that can help! You’re not alone.
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