15 Ways to Save Money on Diabetes Care

Integrated Diabetes Services offers resources for saving on insulin, pumps, and doctor bills.



At Insulin Nation, we often get asked about how to find assistance to pay for diabetes treatment. The team at Integrated Diabetes Services put together a small guide of resources, which they were gracious enough to share with us.

(In alphabetical order)

The Bureau of Primary Health Care (also called the Hill-Burton Program) offers professional medical care for people regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. For a directory of local primary health care centers, go to http://bphc.hrsa.gov/.

CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program provided by each state. It is for children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance. For information, visit www.insurekidsnow.gov.

Eli Lilly & Company offers a program called “LillyTruAssist” to provide insulin to those in need. Visit http://lillytruassist.com/.

The Charles Ray III Diabetes Association provides meters, strips and pump supplies to those who cannot afford them. To learn more, go to http://www.cr3diabetes.org/.

The Foundation for Health Coverage Education helps people without insurance to locate public and private assistance programs. Their website (www.coverageforall.org) has a simple eligibility checklist.

Local Charitable Organizations such as the Lions Club International, Rotary Club, Elks Club, Shriners and Kiwanis Clubs sometimes provide financial assistance or help with fundraising for health-related expenses. For details, check with your local Health and Human Services office.

Medicaid is a health assistance program sponsored by each individual state. Eligibility is based on your income level. Medicaid recipients may qualify for full or partial coverage for select types of diabetes medications and blood glucose monitors/strips. For information, contact the Department of Human Services in the “government” pages of your phone book.

Medicare is a government-sponsored program for people over age 65 as well as younger people with serious health problems, including kidney failure. Medicare now covers most diabetes supplies & prescriptions as well as dietary & educational counseling. For eligibility information, visit www.medicare.gov.

Needymeds runs a web site, www.needymeds.com, that provides up-to-date information on nearly 200 patient assistance programs run by drug manufacturers.

Novo Nordisk offers a Patient Assistance Program that provides free insulin, pen needles, and glucagon kits for those who fail to qualify for government-sponsored programs, do not have private insurance, and fall below a certain income level. Go to http://novonordisk-us.com/documents/section_frontpage/document/pap_diabetescare.asp to apply.

Sanofi has an assistance program for paying for Lantus at http://www.lantus.com/hcp/paying-for-lantus/patient-assistance-programs.

Script Relief is a prescription drug savings program that can offer discounts of up to 75% on some prescriptions. You can visit http://scriptrelief.com/ for more information.

Together Rx is for people who have no prescription coverage and are not eligible for Medicare. The Together Rx Access Card can save you 25% to 40% on a select list of brand-name and generic drugs/supplies (including insulin, oral diabetes medications, meters and test strips). Visit www.togetherrxaccess.com for more information.

The VA (Department of Veteran Affairs) runs hospitals and clinics for veterans who need treatment for service-related ailments and/or financial aid. To find out more about VA health benefits, visit www.va.gov.

WIC (Women, Infants & Children) – Women with pre-existing diabetes who become pregnant and those who develop gestational diabetes may be eligible for assistance with grocery costs. For information, visit www.fns.usda.gov/wic.

This list in no way should be considered complete. If you know of other resources out there, email our editor at cidlebrook@insulinnation.com and we’ll add them.

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Craig Idlebrook is chief editor for Insulin Nation and Información Sobre Diabetes, and was founding editor for Type 2 Nation. You can reach him at cidlebrook@selfrx.com.