How to Find Diabetes Financial Assistance: Free Resources

| 6 min read Financial Assistance

Approximately 25 million people suffer from diabetes in the United States alone, and that number continues to rise every year. People living with diabetes are among some of those hit the hardest when it comes to expensive health care,  spending on average 2.3 times more on healthcare costs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Below, discover ways to find diabetes financial assistance so you can stop worrying about expensive medical costs, and get back to enjoying life.

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The high cost of diabetes

Even with health insurance, diabetes is a costly disease to manage. Prescription costs, copays, and out of pocket medical expenses can easily become overwhelming. Below are five shocking facts about the cost of diabetes you should know.

  • The total cost of diabetes for the U.S. in 2017 alone was $327 billion. This is up by more than $80 billion from just five years ago—an increase of 26%.
  • According to the American Diabetes Association, $1 out every $7 spent on health care is directed toward managing the disease.
  • A whopping 18% of the cost of type 2 diabetes goes toward paying for prescription medications alone.
  • The average cost of insulin per person per year was $5,700 in 2016—nearly double the cost in 2012.
  • The estimated cost of diabetes care in terms of lost worker productivity amounts to $90 billion in the US every single year.

Diabetes help programs to reduce costs

Everyone living with diabetes deserves access to treatment, no matter their financial situation or ability to pay. Take a look at some of the available resources that can help you find financial relief from the cost of managing diabetes.

1. Government assistance for type 1 diabetes

The federal government offers several diabetes help programs that assist with covering prescription costs, doctor visits, and more. Keep in mind that all of these programs have their own set of eligibility criteria, as well as application deadlines and waiting periods.

  • Government assistance for type 1 diabetes is available through Medicare’s pharmaceutical program, which helps alleviate the cost of paying for expensive medication.
  • Community health centers deliver various excellent health care and pharmacy services to roughly 28.4 million patients each year. These government-funded centers can be found in every state and territory within the US
  • For those with children or teens, Medicaid offers specific health insurance coverage options. These programs are either low-cost or free.
  • Seniors can take advantage of the government’s benefits program, which covers medications and other health care costs—saving elderly patients an average of $4,900 each year.

2. Nonprofits that help with insulin costs

In addition to government assistance, many nonprofits also provide financial help to people living with diabetes. The organizations listed below specifically help cover the cost of insulin—a necessary yet sometimes expensive medication for those with diabetes.

  • The Children’s Diabetes Foundation has several programs in place that provide financial help for children with type 1 diabetes, including educational scholarships and clinical care.
  • Rx Outreach is a nonprofit pharmacy serving low-income individuals and families, and can help you cover the cost of insulin or other medications.
  • Abby’s All Stars provides free diabetic supplies for uninsured families with children suffering from juvenile diabetes, helping to offset the cost of expensive supplies like glucose meters and test strips.
  • If you’re looking for free insulin pump programs, the nonprofit organization Diabetes Will’s Way can help. This organization additionally supplies other medical equipment, and offers emergency cash grants for purchasing supplies to manage diabetes.

3. Free diabetic supplies for uninsured patients

For many patients and their families—especially those without insurance—the daily expense of living with diabetes can be overwhelming. If you’re wondering how to get free insulin and other prescription diabetes drugs, the following resources can help.

  • Some pharmaceutical companies have a Patient Assistant Program where you can get diabetes drug supplies for free. Each program has different eligibility requirements, and all require an application signed by your doctor.
  • Manufacturers of diabetic supplies Accu-Chek and FreeStyle provide free blood glucose meters to patients who qualify.
  • Know Copay distributes low-cost test strips and meters through a corporate partnership, and offers monthly subscriptions to further reduce the cost.
  • CR3 Diabetes is a nonprofit organization that provides life-saving supplies to uninsured people living with diabetes. To qualify, you must also meet other medical criteria as determined by your physician.

How to raise money for diabetes

Crowdfunding is another excellent way to find diabetes financial assistance, especially when you need funds quickly. People from around the world turn to crowdfunding each day to start their own medical fundraisers and find the financial relief they need. Discover some tips below for making your fundraiser a success.

  • Start by reading our comprehensive medical crowdfunding guide. Discover strategies to help you create a compelling campaign from start to finish, all while keeping your donors engaged throughout the fundraising process.
  • Fundraisers don’t always have to take place exclusively online, either. In-person fundraising events can help deepen your connection with donors, and raise more awareness for your cause.
  • Successful fundraisers all have one thing in common—a compelling fundraiser story. Consider including pictures or video to help donors connect even more with your fundraiser.

1. Diabetic service dog for Zuzu

When her young daughter Zuzu suffered a seizure due to type 1 diabetes, Tracy looked into getting a diabetic service dog to help detect changes in blood sugar. The cost of a service dog was in the tens of thousands, so Tracy turned to fundraising. Zuzu’s campaign raised more than $19,000, allowing her to pay for training for her new medical alert dog, Fella.

2. Help with hospital bills

Christi was left with costly medical bills after complications resulting from undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Even with health insurance, she was still stuck with a high deductible bill for her 8-day hospital stay. Through her fundraiser, Christi raised the $2,300 needed to pay off her medical bills completely.

Get the diabetes financial assistance you deserve

While living with diabetes can be difficult, know that there are many resources available to help relieve your financial burden. Through medical fundraising, you can quickly and easily raise the money you need to pay for life-saving diabetes treatment and supplies. Plus, with free fundraising through GoFundMe, more of the money you raise goes directly to pay for your treatment. Sign up today and start your own fundraiser so you can access the healthcare you need without the high costs.

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