Seven Smart Ways To Save Money On Diabetes Care and Supplies
Anyone with diabetes knows that living with the disease can get expensive. However, there are ways to manage the costs of diabetes medicine, care, and supplies. We have put together a few tips that can help you do it.
Struggling to pay for diabetic care? You are not alone.
If you or someone you know is currently living with diabetes, we do not have to explain to you that the expenses rack up fast. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person with diabetes pays more than twice as much each year for healthcare as someone without diabetes.
Even more eye-opening news was revealed in a study done just a few years back by the National Center of Health Statistics (NCHS). The center conducted a national health interview and found that over 13% of adults with diabetes skipped doses of their prescribed medication to reduce their personal healthcare costs. Additionally, nearly 25% of those with diabetes who participated in the study admitted to asking their doctor if a lower-cost medication was available.
If you are diabetic, you know that missing an insulin dosage or prescribed diabetic medication is not an option. But when you’re struggling daily to meet the cost of care, it might feel like you don’t have any other options. The good news is, there are realistic ways to manage the costs of diabetic care. Granted, you may have to work a little harder and be a bit more diligent to take advantage of them, but they are out there. Here are a few things you can try.
Get the right insurance and get the most out of it.
Chances are, you pay a good amount for your insurance coverage. So, make sure you’re getting the most out of it. The reality is you cannot rely on your insurance company to be proactive in explaining all your coverage and diabetes medication options. This responsibility is going to fall on your shoulders. What follows are some ways to optimize the use of your insurance plan.
– Ask your provider what diabetic prescriptions are covered at the lowest cost to you? Then, inquire with your doctor and diabetic care team to see if these more affordable options work for your diabetes treatment plan.
– If at all possible, stay within your provider network to keep the cost of doctor visits as low as possible.
– If you need to see a specialist, find out if you must obtain a referral from your primary care physician first. If your plan does require a referral and you make plans to see a specialist before obtaining one, you will miss out on coverage.
– Explore your insurance options during open enrollment. Coverages change year after year, so the most cost-effective insurance plan for your diabetes treatment this year, may not be the best plan next year.
– Try to avoid insurance plans with high deductibles. Yes, you will pay a lower premium. However, you’ll be required to spend far more out of pocket before meeting your deductible. As someone living with diabetes, you are not only at higher risk for many health complications, as matter of course you’ll visit the doctor more often. It might be prudent to make a higher payment each month in order to avoid having to meet an extremely high deductible.
Shop diabetic supply companies and buy in bulk.
Not all diabetic supply providers are created equal. Shop around to find the best prices on the diabetes products your doctor recommends for managing your diabetes. Items like glucose meters, test strips, insulin syringes and pen needles are things you’re going to use every day. Consider buying them in bulk to take advantage of discount pricing. Reputable online diabetic supply companies, such as diabeticwarehouse.org, do a great job of offering a wide selection of diabetes care products from leading manufacturers like Accu-Chek, FreeStyle, OneTouch, Easy Comfort and BD. Shopping online makes it easy to source and compare different products and pricing. Then, you simply place an order, and your diabetes supplies are delivered to your home or office.
Always remember to check expiration dates before purchasing items in bulk. Additionally, before making any adjustments to your diabetes treatment plan, including trying any new diabetic care products, consult with your doctor.
Save money by planning a healthy diabetic diet in advance.
Living with diabetes means watching what you eat. The catch is a healthy diet often comes with a pretty substantial price tag – eating right is not eating cheap.
That being said, here are a few ways you can plan ahead and save some money while still eating healthy.
– Plan each week’s meal plan, buy the fresh ingredients you need and cook your own meals. Pre-packaged foods and restaurants are almost always more expensive.
– Make it fresh and make a lot! Freeze what you don’t eat so you will have quick and convenient diabetes-friendly meals down the road.
– Use store coupons and take advantage of rewards programs. This little added effort can pay off in substantial savings.
– Look for generic brands. They are usually just as healthy as name brands but can cost quite a bit less.
– Buy non-perishables in bulk to enjoy additional savings.
Ways to save on diabetic medication.
While you know never to miss your doctor-prescribed diabetes medication, you also know it can get expensive. However, are you aware that the exact same medication can cost more or less depending on where and how you get it? Here are a few ways to reduce your diabetic medication costs.
– Compare pharmacies. They don’t all charge the same amount and it very well may be worth driving a few extra miles for lower prescription costs.
– Ask your doctor about generic versions of your medication, or about switching to a lower-cost medication that provides the same benefits.
– Often, ordering higher doses of a medication can bring costs down. Ask your doctor if you can purchase a higher dosage of your medication and split the pills or portions into the prescribed dosage. Note: this tip is not wise for individuals who have vision issues or motor control problems. However, for most people living with diabetes, it can be a cost-saving solution.
– Look into getting a “prescription discount card”. They’re usually offered by drug companies and can save you a lot on brand name medicines and even on supplies like continuous glucose monitors and diabetic test strips. To learn more, you can Google the name of your medication or device, along with terms such as “savings card” or “discount card”.
– It’s also a good idea to explore any number of new prescription savings websites, such as InsideRX.com or GoodRX.com, which can often provide your prescribed diabetes medication at substantial discounts.
Diabetes education programs.
Diabetes education includes both individual specialists and group programs designed to assist you in leading a healthy diabetic lifestyle. These programs tend to be affordable (sometimes even free) and can help you better manage blood sugar levels and begin smart diet and exercise programs. Living healthier can reduce your need for insulin injections and other medication, thereby, lowering the cost of diabetes care.
Plus, these programs are run by diabetes health advocates who likely know about discounts and resources for medication that you haven’t heard about.
You can learn more about diabetes education and explore specialists and programs through the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
Consider joining a diabetes clinical trial.
Clinical testing on approved drugs and diabetic devices, such as glucose meters and insulin infusion sets, are worth considering for many individuals. Depending on the medication or tools being studied, you can receive free care and diabetic supplies. Of course, this is a decision that must be made in accord with your diabetes physician. Ask your doctor if there is a clinical trial that might be right for you.
Inquire with your employer about an FSA account.
FSA stands for Flexible Spending Account and it’s a way for you to deduct pre-tax dollars from your paycheck and place them into an account reserved for medical, dental and vision expenses not covered by insurance. The big advantage is by removing pre-tax dollars you are being taxed on less income, which naturally gives you more to spend on healthcare. It’s not exactly reducing your diabetes care expenses, but it can add up to a little extra money for your prescription and diabetic supply needs.
Saving is great. Skipping is not.
We hope that some of these options will help you save money on your diabetes medication and treatment plan. While it can be a challenge to keep up with the rising costs of insulin and prescription medications, skipping doses to save money is absolutely not the answer. In fact, this will likely lead to far more serious diabetes-related health complications, such as vascular disease, nerve damage, and kidney disease, which can mean even more expensive medical treatments and hospitalization. Never stop taking the medicines you need and never skip doses or try to reduce dosage levels in order to save money. The real cost may be your health and even your life.
At diabeticwarehouse.org, we are committed to keeping you informed about the latest advancements in diabetes care and treatment. We’re also committed to being your affordable online choice for diabetic supplies, including insulin syringes, pen needles, glucose meters, glucose test strips and infusion sets by leading manufacturers, including FreeStyle, Easy Comfort, One Touch, Accu-Chek, OmniPod and Medtronic.
Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetic care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including test strips, syringes and needles, glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.