Hi folks, I’m Darren and I have had T1D for 14 years and I am based in the USA. Most people know that Insulin is expensive, especially people in our community. However, I have a hard time finding acknowledgement of how expensive other things are. I have seen insulin assistance programs but are there financial assistance programs for pump supplies and test strips? Pump supplies cost me ~$200/month (Medtronic 670G) and Test Strips are apparently $60, despite the pharmacy telling me they would be $9/month (Contour Next Strips). Is this lack of coverage and awareness true or am I just doing Diabetes wrong? I appreciate any thoughts and resources to offer.
Definitely due to lack of coverage and awareness and willingness of large companies to lower prices. There are ways to save some pennies (like using generic vs brand name on some things is possible, but often times the quality and accuracy goes down). But diabetes is ridiculously expensive.
Fortunately the new insulin prices are a bit lower. We just got my first prescription since Lily announced that they were slashing prices and my humalog insulin pens have gone from $130 to $64
Have you checked with your insurance on test strips? Your pharmacy may be mistaken - or it may be the plan changed their preferred meter and you will get better pricing on a different one.
Check Amazon or eBay for those. Back in the day I tested four times a day, so two boxes would do. Amazon has a box of 70 Count our Next strips for about $25, so $50 a month if you test at that frequency although of course you may do more. Don’t forget to check GoodRx - prices can vary dramatically between pharmacies. Ironically I went to use a Goodrx coupon for some eye drops - it was rejected for some reason but my pharmacist checked for other discounts and I got a better price!
I have seen info on the forum about financial assistance programs for pump and CGM supplies but don’t know if or when I’ll be able to do a search. Hopefully someone else will post a link.
Yes Darren @DarrenCelley, diabetes management can be expensive, but it still isn’t as expensive as some other conditions. It is as expensive as we want to make it by our individual selection of insulin and “assisting” devices. The “tools” we choose to use cause the high cost - either out-of-pocket costs or shared cost - ie., insurance.
For instance, a vial of very effective and low-cost rDNA formulation insulin and a needle and syringe that can be used, used and used many times can result in effective diabetes management. To make life “easier”, we may choose to add tools and devices - but think and weigh the cost: benefit value.
@DarrenCelley I just read an article about Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus company, they apparently don’t use PBMs, negotiate directly with manufacturers, add a $3 processing fee and $5 mailing fee. They had several T1/2 supplies for what look like good prices, mostly generics, but glucometers AND test strips (50) at about $16 ea. May be something those without insurance coverage may want to look at in addition to company programs for those without insurance. Note: I have no connection with and have not used the company, but seemed like reasonable prices.