NO insurance in Virginia Beach

Hi all,
I am wondering if anyone has advice for me regarding finding low-cost supplies in the Hampton Roads area. I don't have insurance and haven't for the past few months and buying my supplies at cost is getting really hard to sustain financially (I'm a student). I will become eligible for the state of Virginia's "pre-existing condition" insurance in September but am looking for help because I'm worried about affording everything for the summer. Generous T1 friends have given me test-strip and needle contributions but am wondering if there is a local/state-wide charity I could access. And no I am not eligible for Medicaid, because I live with a parent and their income factors into the process. Any advice is appreciated. THANKS!

Have you tried the Virginia Beach Dept of Health? There are free clinics or low cost that are based on income and ability to pay in the area and I do believe they also offer prescription drugs as well. I'm sure they could refer you to one, or know of other resources that might be available as well.

Thank you Christy. I will definitely check that out.

http://www.justdiabeticteststrips.com/

Along with everything else we deal with, we have an outrageously expensive disease.

Contact the pharm company that manufactures your insulin. They all have Patience Assistance Programs for people who can't afford meds. You'll have to complete a form on their site. Do the same for strips. ReliOn, sold at WalMart, has the cheapest strips. Not as good as free, but I order syringes from http://www.americandiabeteswholesale.com/. Least expensive source I've found. I order quantity for free shipping, but may be too much for you to afford right now.

As a student, you should take advantage of anything your school offers. Many schools such as CNU have health centers. They have very minimal fees and often can really help deal with these sorts of situations. They may even have some samples on hand. If your school has such a center, do check it out and take advantage of it.

Another option is Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. Sometimes medical schools can be a source of inexpensive medical care and supplies. You can check out their health services arm.

And in the end, there is always the backup. Relion supplies at Walmart. The Relion test strips cost $36 per 100 and pen needles are $18 per 100. These costs are sometimes below insurance co-pays.

Thanks a lot, Gerri. I just got the Patient Assistant form for Novolog and am going to fax that in. I also have the Relion test strips but of course feel a bias towards Lifescan. Does anyone know if they are as credible blood-sugar wise? Thanks for the syringe-source! I am checking that out immediately. I've re-used the syrings a few times and it is NOT comfortable.

EVMS is a really good idea and is an excellent medical school. I'd definately check them out as well. What school are you going to if you dont mind me asking? I am sure ODU in Norfolk would have a student medical center as well, and that might definately be of some assistance.

Actually, you know who is on the faculty at ODU. Sheri Colberg, the famous diabetes sports expert. How awesome is that?

Wow yeah that is pretty awesome!!!

I've found generic strips (TrueTest) to be more accurate and consistent for me than lifescan was. Consumer reports rates several generics, including both Relion and TrueTest as good or better than Onetouch (lifescan) in terms of accuracy and consistency. They both also use considerably less blood, which means less wasted strips = less wasted money. I'm sold on generics... All strips have to meet the FDA standards, which are alarmingly lax (essentially +/- 20%) and none exceed the minimum standard by very much at all, as far as I know. I've found great deals on needles on Amazon.

I've used the Relion meter and test strips at times due to financial issues at the time, and it was just a point or two difference between my Relion meter and my OneTouch. I'd say at least with my experiences with the Relion meter and strips they are reliable.

I just finished a semester at ODU actually. Taking my pre-reqs for medical school. I've been getting by all semester buying things at retail value but it's just NOT working anymore. I hadn't really thought of the health center but I will give it a try.

Wow that's great, congratulations on working towards medical school. Have you thought of where you are going to apply to Med school at? I love EVMS and have worked with a lot of their med students in differnt places I have worked around the area.

Well I'm older and "non-traditional" but so far, EVMS, VCU, a couple in the Caribbean, a couple of reaches.....hoping to sell my diabetic story to an Admissions Committee that will have me!

Have you considered the Clever Choice Pro or Mini? Here is the webpage for the meter...it seems pretty slick.
I have found the strips for $13 for 50 on Amazon with free ship (for $25 purchase...like two or more boxes). Walmart sells the meter for $20 or you can get one from Amazon with 150 strips for $48 (with shipping).

If you prefer the palm type meters, the Clever Choice Pro uses the same strips and you can get one of those with 200 strips for the same $48.

Another alternative would be the Prodigy meters. The Prodigy No Coding strips are slightly less even at $11.15 for 50 and free ship. There are 4 other listing for these strips on Amazon for under $12.00, all with $0.00 shipping. The Prodigy AutoCode and Prodigy Pocket both use these strips and are plenty cheap online.

I have never used any of these so I cannot vouch for them directly but the price is pretty nice...considering.

Another possible source for assistance might be Diabetes Training centers in the local hospitals. Try calling them and asking if they know of any sources for assistance with supplies / insulin. Be sure to mention your pre-Med...couldn't hurt. :)

Oh yeah, do you take 50/50, 75/25, or fast acting (meal-time) insulin? If so, you can get a 5-pack of Humalog 300-unit pens for FREE.
And here's a $25 off offer on Lantus if you take basal insulin.

That is great VCU would be another really good choice as well.I think that is great, I mean for one just your inside personal knowledge of diabetes, even if you don't particularly want to specialize in endocrinology is a HUGE plus, just as we know it impacts management with every kind of speciality out there. I'd also say just the fact of being able to manage an ongoing chronic illness in addition to the dedication and time medical school entails,just really shows your determination and level of dedication. Do you have an area of medicine you'd like to specialize in? I really wish there were more doctors out there who are diabetic. I mean unless you live with this day in and day out, its so easy to be of the mindframe well why CANT you keep this under control. As we are all aware, that is much easier said than done somedays.

Apidra I think is still offering the free vials due to the shortage of pens..at least that's what my CDE told me a few weeks ago, I use Humalog and can't seem to get them to switch me to Apidra, personally I'd like to try it, being Im most of the time pretty insulin sensitive and would like to see if a more faster acting insulin that has a faster absorption rate might help me some, they are of the mindset its ALL the same...so I cannot confirm that information is still correct but might be worth looking into.

Yeah- shadowing doctors is a huge factor in the admissions process. The Dean of one school actually told me I needed more shadowing. But I actually wanted to pipe in and tell her that I've been "shadowing" endocrinologists since I was 9. The hospital has always been a second home for me. At 10 I was asking if I could take my own blood pressure/blood glucose. As for specialties, I am interested in a lot of things- but surprisingly not endocrinology. Maybe OB/GYN or adolescent health.