Tips for Finding Affordable Diabetes Testing Supplies


Tips for Finding Affordable Testing Supplies

It may be tempting to ration insulin or skip testing in favor of saving money on supplies. Taking medications as prescribed and monitoring your blood sugar by testing are two of the best ways you can keep your diabetes in check. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2023 caped insulin medication costs for some at $35 per month. Check with your insurance company or pharmacy to learn how this impacts your out-of-pocket costs for medications. In addition, here are our best tips and tricks for reducing your diabetes-related expenses:

1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Ask which meter brand your insurance company prefers. Got a free meter from a friend or a promotional offer? Great. But if the strips aren't a preferred brand on your insurance plan, you may be paying more for the strips than you need to. Always make sure you're using a preferred brand.

Ask if your strips and testing supplies are covered under the prescription benefit or under the durable medical equipment (DME) company benefit. This will guide you to the location where you will get the supplies covered.

  • If supplies are covered under the prescription benefit, then choose a pharmacy.
  • If supplies are covered under the durable medical equipment benefit, then choose a DME.

2. Consider Mail Order Pharmacies

Your insurance plan may discount your copay if you go through a mail order pharmacy to buy test strips.

3. Shop Around for the Best Deals in Town and for Coupons

Prices may vary on certain brands at different pharmacies. Certain retail pharmacies may also carry lower-cost glucometers and strips. Digital coupons like Good Rx can help lower the cost, especially if you don't have insurance. 

4. Ask Your Primary Care Physician How Often You Need to Test

If you are not on insulin, you may not need to test more than once per day, or even every day. Make sure you are not paying for extra strips.

5. Make Sure Your Prescription is for the Correct Number of Strips and Meter Brand

If your physician has written for 21 days’ worth of strips, you end up paying for the rest of the month's supply out of your own pocket. That cost can add up! 

Having the correct number of strips on the prescription means that the whole month's supply will only cost you one copay.

6. Look into Discount Programs Directly from the Meter Manufacturer

Many companies offer discounts on strip co-pays or free/reduced-price meters. Compare these programs to your insurance benefits and see what works best for you financially. Some restrictions do apply so don't forget to read the fine print.

7. Contact Agencies That Can Help

The American Diabetes Association provides resources and support for people in need of help purchasing insulin.