It’s crazy knowing that without insulin, I couldn’t survive. Insulin is a necessity of my life. It’s not a medication that’s used to help alleviate symptoms or help aid a temporary situation. I need insulin to live. Period. For the rest of my life.
Most recently I have been blessed with awesome insurance through my husband’s job that covers all my medication. My insulin – test strips – and pump supplies. I’m beyond grateful for insurance that covers me, because I know what’s it’s like to be “without“.
It’s a terrible feeling not knowing how you’re going to afford to manage your diabetes.
When I was the age of 20 I was dropped from my family’s insurance. I was left to fend for myself basically. I was working a minimum wage job barely making ends meet. My boyfriend at the time would help me scrounge up money to afford the basics. Which I obviously needed insulin and the most generic form of testing supplies.
Now if you’ve actually had to pay out-of-pocket. You would know the ridiculous amount of money it costs to purchase insulin even with insurance. Without insurance it can cost anywhere between $100-400 per vial, depending on where you go and the brand of insulin. The three insulin manufacturers — Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly keep continuing to raise these prices, claiming it’s due to innovation and production. But the price increases with no generic forms, leave people with diabetes to have no choice but to pay the price.
But really, how could you go without?
I cringe at the thought of spending $100+ on just one vial of insulin. Even with the possibility of wasted insulin or just dropping it accidentally on the floor (which I’ve done). This is a crisis that desperately needs to be addressed.
I applied for Medicaid considering my income. I was denied – I’m assuming because I was “single and working”. But I don’t think they took in consideration my health. I also looked into Medicare or Disability, or anything. All of which were denied…
Then I researched some more and come across resources from the pharmaceutical companies and varias others who offer assistance:
*Most of these programs require that you are a US citizen*
Lilly Cares which offers patient assistance to obtain medications you need. In order to get assistance, you must fill out an enrollment form and get it signed by your physician. They offer medications such as Humalog and Humulin. Once approved, they mail your physician your medication and you are effective for a year. You can see here for eligibility guidelines.
Sanofi-Aventis is another good assistance program. They offer medications such as Lantus for diabetes management.
Novo Nordisk offers medication such as Novolog and Novolin.
These are all great assistance programs. I thought I would list the most familiar medication pertaining to each company because it took me awhile to figure it out. But if you go to each site, they give a detailed list of all the medications that they offer and the eligibility requirements.
I used Together RX for savings on my testing supplies. They give you your own personal card to show with a prescription at your pharmacy.
I also benefited from BD assistance program for my insulin syringes.
Now there are many groups online that can be of assistance
All of these resources helped me manage my diabetes, during times of financial difficulties.
You should never have to go a day worrying about how you’ll be able to take your insulin – check your blood sugar – or live the best quality of life possible
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.