If you’re like most Americans, you spend a lot of time looking for ways to save money. According to a report, the average American spends over $12,530 yearly on health-related expenses. But if you have diabetes, you might want to consider spending more than that. And in some cases, a lot more on your medical care. The key is finding the right balance between the cost of healthcare and how much it can improve your quality of life overall. Here are some tips for doing just that.
Check Out Your Local Pharmacy
The best place you can look for savings is at your local pharmacy. If they have a diabetic testing strip section, check to see if they have any specials or coupons available. If they do and you qualify, this could be a great way to save money on them.
If they don’t sell the test strips in store but can order them for you at a discounted rate, ask if they offer a discount on those prices as well. Depending on how frequently you need the supplies, it may be cost-effective to order them through them instead of buying them at the supermarket or online (depending on where else is available).
Finally, if there’s no way around getting the tests strips from another location other than online ordering (which may mean waiting several days), consider asking if the pharmacists recommend another pharmacy or service provider who might be able to help out with finding some savings for diabetes equipment and supplies that aren’t covered by insurance plans such as yours.
Take Advantage of Free Medication Programs
Once you’ve determined your diabetes medication needs and formulated a plan to manage them, take advantage of as many free programs as possible. In addition to the government’s drug discount program, some state and local governments offer prescription assistance programs. Non-profit organizations will likely be able to help you find ways to lower the costs of your medications. Plenty of pharmacy discount programs will save you money on medications that aren’t covered by insurance or other programs.
Drug manufacturer patient assistance programs are another way for patients to get their hands on discounted drugs through participating pharmacies nationwide. And they’re available regardless of income level or type of health plan coverage (though they may not apply in all states). You can search for these programs online or on organizations’ websites, such as Partnership for Prescription Assistance.
Pharmacy patient assistance programs work similarly but with one important difference. They’re usually run by drug manufacturers rather than third-party non-profits like PPA, whose goal is simply helping people find free medicine elsewhere when possible.
Consider Joining a Healthcare Sharing Ministry
If you’re looking for a way to save money on your medical bills, consider joining a healthcare sharing ministry. Healthcare sharing ministries are not insurance; they are membership organizations. They do not sell or issue health insurance and thus are exempt from the Affordable Care Act, meaning that they aren’t required to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions or offer other protections that many people have come to expect from their insurance plans.
For those who don’t mind foregoing certain protections and having control over the type of care they receive, joining a healthcare sharing ministry may be worth considering. If you belong to one of these organizations and think it’s right for your needs, discuss your options with doctors and financial advisers before making any further decisions about how best to manage your budget in the future.
Check Out Health Insurance Marketplace Plans
You may have heard that the health insurance marketplace plans are now available. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, these plans can be an excellent way to save money on your medical care, as long as you pick the right one.
Health insurance marketplace plans are often cheaper than traditional health insurance plans. Because they don’t cover things like maternity care, preventive services (like vaccines), and other “optional” benefits that many people don’t need or want. They also may not cover certain prescription drugs; although, if you’re having trouble affording insulin and other medications, this may not matter much to you.
That said, there’s a lot of variation among health insurance marketplace plans in terms of what they offer, and some provide more comprehensive coverage than others. For example, one plan might reimburse 80% of your out-of-pocket costs while another reimburses only 60%. And some plans require prior authorization before paying for certain services, while others don’t impose these restrictions, so it pays to shop around.
Use Prescription Assistance Programs
Prescription assistance programs are offered by pharmaceutical companies and offer discounts on medications. You can find a prescription assistance program online, in your doctor’s office, or through the mail.
There are two types of prescription assistance programs, those that require an application and those that do not require an application. The ones that need an application often have more stringent requirements for eligibility, but they may also offer better savings than some of their non-application counterparts.
Usually, once you have found a program you feel comfortable with, all that is left to do is fill out some paperwork or fax it in and wait for them to review it before they send your card in the mail. Then you can use this card at any participating pharmacy every time you purchase medication(s).
Buy Generic and Use Discount Cards
You can get generic drugs for your diabetes. Generic medicines are much cheaper than brand-name ones, so you’ll save money by making the switch. You may have to try a few different generics before you find one that works for you and doesn’t cause side effects, but it’s worth it in the long run.
If a discount card program is available in your area, sign up for it. These free programs allow patients to purchase medications at lower prices than retail prices. They can also be used at any pharmacy, making shopping easy even if there aren’t any pharmacies near home or working with competitive prices on medications (or not).
It’s always better to ask if something is covered by insurance before purchasing anything out of pocket. Especially when dealing with chronic conditions like diabetes.
Sell Your Unused and Unexpired Diabetic Strips
This is the best time to sell if you have diabetes and have unused or unexpired diabetic test strips. You can sell diabetic test strips and easily get cash from companies that buy unopened packages that haven’t expired yet.
You will first need to determine how many unused and unexpired packages of your strips are lying around in your home. Then, call up each company that buys old diabetics’ items to sell them at a reasonable price. They might also ask for information regarding the amount they will pay per package, but only after they have confirmed their authenticity by sending an inspector over or requesting photos of their products via mail or email before buying them out entirely.
One of the best ways to save money on diabetic medical care is to find a good doctor and stick with them. You’ll be able to build a relationship with this person and get your needs met efficiently. Another way is by finding a pharmacy that will offer discounts on certain brands or classes of drugs based on their policies. You can also save money by knowing what insurances are available for you so that you don’t have any out-of-pocket costs for visits or prescriptions at all times.
Photo 61417250 / Diabetic © Katarzyna Bialasiewicz | Dreamstime.com