Five Ways You Can Get Help Paying For Insulin

woman checking her glucose levels on the beach
| 4 min read Financial Assistance

For the roughly 30 million US people with diabetes, forgoing insulin isn’t an option. As insulin prices continue to climb, people who depend on lifesaving medicine are left in a difficult financial situation. If you need help understanding how to get insulin if you can’t afford it, this article lists five ideas to try.

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What is the cost of diabetes?

The economic diabetes cost is staggering. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes also have health care costs that are over two times greater than people without diabetes. Diabetes costs in the US total 327 billion each year.

How much is insulin?

Insulin is the medicine that’s key in helping people with Type 1 diabetes stay healthy and regulate their blood sugar. Many people with Type 2 diabetes also rely on insulin every day.

According to a report by the American Action Forum, the average annual per capita insulin costs per person are nearing $6000. If you’re wondering, “Why does insulin cost so much?” the answer is often not as clear as we might hope. According to the report, the rising costs are due to newer insulin products and higher costs set by pharmaceutical drug companies.

Five ways to pay for insulin

Many Americans fall into medical bankruptcy trying to pay for insulin, while others ration their supply or try to buy it in other countries. Here are six ways to find financial assistance for insulin when you need it most:

1.  Explore programs that offer financial assistance for insulin

If you need to know how to get insulin without insurance, there are plenty of programs that are set up to offer financial aid for diabetics or help pay medical bills. The following programs can help if you don’t know how to pay for insulin:

2. Share your concerns with your doctor

It may be helpful to make an appointment with your doctor to review your options. Your doctor or medical team may have untapped resources or help you form a short-term plan on how to afford insulin. No one should have to struggle to get the medicine they need to live, and most health care professionals will be able to provide you with insulin samples if you’re close to running out.

3. Review your insurance policy

If you’re insured, it’s important to understand your coverage. There may be cheaper generic options that have a smaller price tag than name brand insulin formulas. By reviewing your policy, you can also ensure that you’re filling your prescription at a pharmacy on your plan.

4. Look for assistance from pharmaceutical companies

This option may be surprising to some, but most pharmaceutical drug companies have a patient assistance program for those who can’t afford medication. Some even offer discounts for paying in cash. Check the Medicare website for information on finding and taking advantage of these programs.

5. Start an online fundraiser for insulin

Many people with diabetes use crowdfunding to aid the cost of insulin when health insurance coverage isn’t enough. Through online fundraising, you can easily connect with your friends and family members to find financial and emotional support. Asking for help can be tough, but it’s important to remember that your cause is worthy of support, and those close to you do want to lend a hand.

People who used crowdfunding to pay for insulin

Insulin pump to pump my life

Dania was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old. That day, her whole life changed. Taking up to five shots of insulin each day became her regular routine, but as she moved into adulthood, it became more difficult to time her shots around her busy work schedule. So she started an online fundraiser to buy an insulin pump. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Dania was able to raise over $2,500 to meet her goal.

Insulin for my Type 1 diabetic mom

Heather’s mom has lived with diabetes her entire life. But recently, her insurance company began charging her over $2,000 for a 90-day supply of insulin. When Heather’s mom began rationing her insulin because of financial struggles, Heather knew she had to find a way to help. She launched an online fundraiser and was able to raise over $3,600 for her mom.

Find a way to pay for insulin today

If you can’t afford insulin, there are options to support you. You can start a fundraiser and begin raising money right away for any out of pocket medical expenses you encounter. GoFundMe’s fundraising platform means that you can keep more of the funds you raise, and our blog offers a medical crowdfunding guide to help along the way.

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Written by GoFundMe