For the uninsured, diabetes can be an expensive illness. Necessary diabetic supplies--like insulin, testing strips, syringes, lancets and other medications--are costly. Trying to pay for them can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Likewise, many Medicare-eligible diabetics don't realize what options are available to them. If you’re an uninsured or Medicare eligible diabetic looking to find diabetic supplies for low or no cost, there are programs in place that can help you.
Visit a government subsidized health care clinic in your community. Many state and county operated health care clinics receive funding from the government to help them meet the needs of individuals in their community. Find out if the health care clinic in your community has a program to supply diabetic patients with much-needed supplies.
Talk to your doctor about your options. Many pharmaceutical companies have programs in place to provide medication to patients who can't afford to pay for it. To be considered for such patient assistance programs, you will need to be referred by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about what programs are available to you. Additionally, many doctors receive samples of medications and supplies so you can sometimes get some of your diabetic supplies that way.
Apply to receive your medication through a pharmaceutical assistance program. Applying for a patient assistance program involves a fair deal of paperwork. You'll need to complete an application for the program which you can obtain from your doctor. You may also opt to print it from the pharmaceutical company's Website. Once you've completed the application, make a copy of your most recent income taxes, as well as copies of your pay stubs for the last thirty days. Have your doctor sign your application. Mail the paperwork to the pharmaceutical company using the address listed on the application form.
Work with a private company to secure your free diabetic supplies. If you are a diabetic who is eligible for Medicare, there are many companies who can help you get your supplies for free. American Diabetes Services and Diabetes Testing Today are just two of the many services that can help you find out if you're eligible to receive free diabetic supplies. See the links in our Resources section.
If you're hoping to apply and be accepted into a pharmaceutical assistance program before your current supply of diabetic supplies runs out, give yourself at least a month for your application to be reviewed. It can take up to six weeks for your application to be processed.
Don't be tempted to underestimate your household income on your pharmaceutical assistance program application. Applications are carefully checked. Deliberately misrepresenting financial information can get you banned from the program.
Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.