Loss of Health Insurance - Resources for what do you do?

I was laid off a year ago and my health insurance expires the end of February. I wear an OmniPod. I have not been able to find a company to insure me because of my type 1 diabetes. Does anyone know how to get insurance or how to get pods and insulin supplies at a reduced rate?

Check out the www.needymeds.org site and click on the Diabetes Resource Page. At least it’s a place to start. Hope you find something.

There are some state insurance pools for high risk individuals, you may qualify. Also, the big pharma companies all have programs for situations like this. Thirdly I would contact my endo’s office and explain your situation. I don’t know about getting pods due to their expense but I think you could get basic MDI supplies.

i thought COBRA extends 18 months???

I thought this too.

COBRA is expensive for Type 1s though (I was on COBRA for 3 months and it was about $800 a month)

I haven’t any Ins either, lost it last OCT. Its scary… the thing I notice is all the help out there like at the Needmeds ask for your DR to sing and I don’t have one…are they dumb as a rock… Shoot we loose Ins we looose out Doctors.

I hope you find some help, I am trying to get some, but state medical is on hold, no money to help they say.

Maybe some state programs. My grandmother before she passed from complications was getting state help. Check your local gov. sites.

I never qualified for COBRA because the company that laid me off had small group insurance (less than 20 employees). that allowed 15 months of coverage that has been exhausted. My health insurance offered an individual insurance Conversion Plan but it does not cover prescriptions and it cost $679.80 a month…that to me is a rip off. Don’t they realize we will die without insulin? the Ohio High Risk Pool costs $510/mo for someone in my age bracket and i have to have been uninsured for 6 months and must prove it to qualify for it. I am checking every possible lead and I appreciate all of your input, fellow diabetic brothers and sisters!

The Cobra price is the same regardless of your health situation.

Hi Ellen,

I have been without insurance since 2006! I am unemployed and have 0 dollars so I know how you feel. I didn’t find out I had D until about a year ago so I didn’t really have many health issues that I had to worry about paying before that. Well, D definately made it harder. I am Type 2 so my D care may be a bit easier or cheaper than yours but I found a low cost clinic through this website here:


Depending on your income and where you go, you can pay as little as $15 for visits. For my meds, I go to Walmart which is really cheap and I also use the Walmart Relion meter and strips. I do believe Walmart has insulin too but I don’t know too much about what is considered cheap and a good deal for that. Nor for the OmniPod but I am sure you could discuss options with the staff and doctors if you find a good place.

The clinic I go to now actually states that they provide regular care for diabetes so I think more places are focusing on that. Of course, no endo or specialists if that is what you need but if you can find a good doctor at one of these clinic maybe you can make it through until you have insurance again.

Good luck. It is so hard to be without insurance in America and it definately takes some resourcefulness to get what you need. There are many things I have to put off - like I should be seeing an ENT for my ears but obviously I can’t. For my women’s stuff I am lucky to be in a state program that is free and I have the low cost clinic to go to for my diabetes.

I checked out the high risk program and it would have been over $700 each for me and my husband that is $1500 for both of us and we would have had to still buy my daughter insurance. I would check the sites mentioned above and contact the drug manufactuer directly. You may qualify for free or reduced priced drugs. Your last resort may have to be to go back to MDI and buy insulin at Walmart, if you can’t get assistance.

Does Walmart offer any kind of discounted insulin program? I know most pharmacies offer “free” type 2 meds, like Metformin, but that doesn’t help us type 1’s. Thanks for your response. So far it’s pretty hopeless :frowning:

Walmart has Relion brand insulins at $24.88/vial. These are really Humulin insulins rebranded; R, NPH and 70/30. They also carry syringes, $12.48/100. Walmart has a discounted drug program for those type 2s, you can get metformin for $4/month.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any Walmart discounted pump supplies.

This is a resource for people without insurance http://www.pparx.org/. They work with you to get your insulin for free and they will help offset test strip costs. Unfortunately, it does not cover pump supplies, but if you contact Insulet they will be able to work with you and get your pods at a reduced rate. You will have to show that you have a financial hardship and no insurance. Let me know if you have anymore questions. I’ve worked with many people to get this done and it requires a bit of paperwork, but in the end, it’s worth it to get the supplies that you need.


Well, my Metformin isn’t “free” (nothing free it this world!) but yes, it is cheap compared to going somewhere like Walgreens. I get the 3 months prescription and it like $12 for a 3 month supply. The meters and the strips are the cheapest I have come across so far.

If I were you I would still talk to people at the low cost clinics - they are used to finding cheap or free resources for people who have no health care.I am pretty sure there has to be others out there in your situation and I am sure the doctors and staff could have some suggestions for you of what to do. When you are unisured, you really have to go and do alot of searching around and talking to people to find this stuff - too bad it isn’t easier. I think they make it hard on purpose.

Check with the health department that is in your county of residence

me too Ellen, I lost mine last Oct, and I can’t find any help, the state is out of money, and the Community helath clinics are not taking anymore people, so as you are getting worried, I live in utter fear of what is going to happen to me.

I have had to buy syringes at walmart, they sell them with out scripts. Insulin too. My Other meds, when they run outs, well I am frightened,

I hope someone can help you:)

Depending on the state you live in there may be a plan available through a state plan. I live in Florida and after passing out from hypoglycemic unawareness after many years I found a plan called Cover All Florida. I now get Catastrophic Insurance for about $200 a month with type 1 diabetes. Look up state resources for help and go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as well as the American Diabetes Association websites to help find more resources.

About the only thing out there are the state high risk pools. which have already been addressed.

for others. before this happens to you consider student insurance, which is available at most universities. Look at it this way in order to qualify one needs to be a student usually half time and the rates are reasonable. In this case, it may not apply since there was a break in coverage. However it is possible it might work out, I am guessing it will not however.

i suggest calling a local college and asking for program rules and exploring if you can qualify at some tme if you enroll now? It is worth a try.

rick phillips

Have you considered contacting the rep for your pump? They may not be a solid long term solution, but if they can direct you to some resources directly at the company or even some supplies temporarily that may help. They are very helpful for new pump users- I would hope they would extend a hand to an established customer. Best of luck… With all of it!