Paying for Diabetes

How can someone pay for diabetes expense without any insurance? Diabetes is really expensive… having to pay for insulin, test strips, and other supplies. How do you do it?

This is tricky. When I was in college, lack of insurance (or lack of adequate insurance) was a huge issue. If someone is under the age of 24, their local children’s hospital may be able to provide insulin and supplies for either no cost or a minimal cost. After the age of 24, there are some state programs (including Medicaid) for which someone may qualify, but those are often income-based (i.e., if you earn over a certain amount, you don’t qualify). Some cities/large Metro areas also have local programs (generally funded with state funds) that will cover diabetes supplies. If you have an endo you see regularly, he/she may be able to stock you up with some free samples they get from drug reps. Also, individual companies (Eli Lilly, Bayer, Lifescan, etc) sometimes have assistance programs.

I believe the Affordable Care Act (aka, health care reform) has changed how states deal with the uninsured, such that a diabetic without insurance for 6 months can get into a state’s high risk pool. But some of this may depend on what state you’re in.

Worst case scenario…you don’t get adequate insulin and end up in the ER in DKA, where they have to treat you. Sadly, that’s sometimes the best way to gain access to what you need. And unfortunately I am speaking from experience here…