How Much Do You Spend on Your T1D?

Just curious, but how much (out-of-pocket) does everyone spend on managing their T1D? I have been trying to find some basic cost data to show the economic burden people with type 1 diabetes experience as a result of managing their disease. It’s really hard to find because so many studies lump together T1D and T2D.

So, how much does everyone spend PER MONTH?

I have excellent insurance (BCBS through the Federal government) and I was shocked when I started to add up my monthly expenses. Between insulin, pump supplies, glucose tabs, meters, test strips, copays for doctors’ appointments, and all the other little crap that I need, I am lately spending anywhere from $300-$500/month on diabetes stuff!! Granted, some of this is because I use more test strips than my insurance will cover, so I have to pay for those out-of-pocket. Oh, and there was that $1,000 I dropped for a new pump earlier this year (ouch).

I have thougth about this a lot in the past, and is one of the primary reasons, I haven’t gone on the pump. I spend:

$10 - 200 test strips
$60 - Levemir/Apidra pens

So $70 per month. I think I figured that with my insurance, if you ignore the $2k deductible to get the pump, I would have spent about $150 per month on supplies. I really would like to go on the pump, but just can’t afford it right now.


Yes, the pump is expensive, but I feel like it is helping me avoid other costs in the long haul, because I was just having too much variation on MDI. However, it’s unfortunate that for so many people the cost of the pump is what prevents them from getting one.

What is getting me lately is all the co-pays. It’s frustrating to have to drop $40 every time I walk into the endos office, and I’ve been going a lot lately because we’ve been trying to address some issues. And then there’s the eye doc appointments, the dietician consults, etc. This year in particular, I’ve just found I’m spending WAY more on D care than I would like to.

I dunno, maybe $150-$175 or so.

I get a box of Lantus pens and a box of Humalog pens ($35/ea) every other month, so that’s $35/month. Then $35/month for the 200 strips my insurance covers, $50 for another 100 test strips out of pocket (through ADW), maybe $30 on pen needles (also through ADW), then $5 for a giant bag of smarties from the store. I’m going to try to get my endo to get a prior authorization for more test strips (he prescribes 12/day but I’m running up against a plan limit) so that I’m not paying out of pocket for those.

I did manage to save a bunch earlier this year by participating in a “research study” where they paid me $50 to get labs and an eye exam done (and sent me the results, too!)

Because I live in Finland, I don’t need any insurances. Every citizen is “insured”.

I pay for my Lantus and Apidra total 3€ per 3 months (about $4.35 for 3 months stock of pre-filled insulin pens. 3 boxes of Lantus, so 15 pens. 4 boxes of Apidra, so 20 pens), blood glucose meters, strips, BD pen needles and lancets are for free.

If i get a insulin pump, I get that for free, too. And infusion sets and all that is needed with it.

FYI, United Healthcare would only cover up to 200 strips. I actually found that out the hard way. Turned out that I went to my endo and told him I wanted 300 strips. So he wrote me a script saying 300 strips, test 6-8 times per day. So my pharmacist says, "oh, 6 times per day is only 180 strips, so they won’t give me even the 200 anymore, they only want to give me 150. Anyways, I had to battle with the insurance, pharmacist and endo, just to stay at 200 strips.

Just a little FYI, on the way the strips prescription can work.


I’m aware of this, that’s why I’m trying to get a prior authorization from the insurance company to prescribe 300/month.

Argh! Funny that you posted this on Sam’s birthday & we’re trying to figure out how to fund the Animas Ping she wants. Strangely, we also have BCBS federal. Pump $6000, insurance covers 70%. Then we gotta get the supplies! I would like to calculate how much we are spending out of pocket monthly. Should we count the food & candy we buy for lows? :slight_smile: Gatorade and Power Bars for softball games? Strips, pens, needles. We should make a list of incidentals. And I need a second job!

Hmm lets just say I spend 1,000 bucks a year on Dexcom/Doctor visits/Medtronic supplies as 1,000 is max out of pocket for the year.

Monthly Perscritptions

Lipitor 55

Strips 75

Insulin 75

So about $288 a month

What test strips do you use? I pay 75 a freaking month for one touch

Cost of insurance: $477/month (I’m in the high risk pool for my state)

Rx: $10 each for insulin (2 kinds) + Test strips (300/month) + syringes = $40 / month

labs ~ 4x/year ~$60-100 per . . . say $350 ish total

doctor visits (normally) 4/year ish @ $55-165 /visit depending on the doctor. say $400 ish/year

This year, because of ongoing eye issues, I’m approaching my $1000 deductable–which means I’ve spent over $900 since Jan on medical, mostly diabetes stuff.

So, besides insurance I spend roughly $100/month on diabetes, more when I’m going to the doctor more regularly.

Before we got the insurance, we were self paying for about a year. Without insurance, Rx costs were:

$105 Lantus

$105 Novolog

$270 =$90 * 3/100 for 300 Test strips

$15 syringes

$495 and that was just prescriptions–then came more doctor visits and labs . . . That made the high premium worth it, because I was paying about the same, but at least I was covered for hospital stays just in case.

I’m thinking that because I’m approaching my deductable, now might be a good time to look into pumps, but that all depends on how everything goes now that my endo is closing his practice.

That’s a toughie! Just a few things: $50/month for insulin, about $200/month for pump supplies and CGM supplies, about $70/month for doctor visits. And, say, $100/month for incidentals – unexpected doctor visits, antibiotics for infections, alcohol wipes, I dunno – I’d really have to think hard to include EVERYTHING. And my strips are free – yippee!

I remember when the deaf people managed to get the rest of us to pay for their special needs telephone service. Too bad we can’t get that kind of help as diabetics.

$30 (300 stips)
$30 (1.5 bottle humalog)
$25 (month pump supplies)
$20 (CGM used for 6 days Avg)
$20 (guess for hypo treatment)
$20 (incidentals ie. etOH swabs, bandaids)
$25 (Doctor copays)

$170 total

Average yearly expense = $2,040 = OUCH

are we talking actual costs or how much we actually pay minus the freebies we tend to work out with all the time i.e. free insulin samples from doctors that never end??? lol (knocks on wood constantly)

but here is a break down of what i pay when i do have to buy things… (all prices are u.s. domestic, one could essentially order from canada due to their ability to control costs at a much cheaper rate)

humalog= 120.00 vial
lantus= 275.00 vial
levemir= 275.00-325.00 vial
test strips depending on brand i.e. abbot has reli-on and freestyle strips.= .40–1.25 (avg tests per day= 8-10)
syringes 100 count= 15.00
skittles= 12.78 box (pack size varies on flavor)
test meters depending on brand= 9.00-70.00 (tend to break quite a bit)
pump traditional= 3,000-7,000
pump supplies= around 200.00 per month

i do not have insurance and must pay everything 100 percent at marked price, after a few months of watching everything you work for go to zero you learn how to survive while effecting your bank account on a limited as possible basis…example i have not bought insulin in about 8 months and have also about a year’s supply backed up… you learn to use the relationships you make to work as best as possible…

some enjoy vip access at clubs or hook ups at the mechanics, deal on a purchase, i choose to pursue as much insulin as i can get lmao…

Mom said we have to pay about 700 a year for doctors and 500 ayear on med copays . sometimes we have to buy extra strips

I am truly blessed to have the insurance plan that I do. I just figured out my bills for the first half of this year, a shade under $5800, of which I payed out of pocket slightly less than $80. Insurance reimbursed me for my pump when I got it last year (thank goodness - could never have done it otherwise!)

$40 insulin (2 vials)
20 symlin (1 pen)
15 strips (400)
10 lancets (Multiclix, 400)
40 pods (15-16 pods/mo)
14 co pay (office visit & bloodwork every 3 mos)
66 co insurance (office visit & bloodwork every 3 mos)
10 glucose tabs (1 bottle)
$205 per month average
Of course there are also the unexpected ER visits that warrant a $50 co pay plus co insurance for all the crap they do while I’m there…

Luckily, my insurance at work is very good. Plus my endo still writes my novolog scrip as it was when I started using insulin and was shooting seven times a day. Spend about $1,500 per year so roughly $125 per month.

Make sure that you take advantage of your Flexible Spending Account if your company offers one. Nice to “pay yourself back” with pretax dollars.

Between the standard protocal of meds, insulin, pump supplies, testing supplies, doctor copays I’d guess $300

Around $500 a month…But I also have medical bills that I have not paid yet. This amount also does not include healthy eating which cost WAY more…