In honor of National Diabetes Month, please welcome my friend Paul Moyer from Saving Freak blog. Paul is going to share with us some important ways for people with diabetes to save money. Take it away, Paul!
There are 29.1 million people diagnosed diabetes in the United States. In other words, almost everyone has a family member or knows a friend with diabetes. Having diabetes can be difficult physically, mentally, and also financially. A diabetic diagnosed at the age of 40 could easily spend over $200,000 on direct and indirect expenses because of diabetes.
With such a heavy price tag, some people struggle to manage their diabetes because of a lack of funds. The good news is there are simple and effective ways to save money on medications, treatments, food, and all other aspects of diabetes.
7 Ways for People With Diabetes to Save Money
Better management = less medication
Having a better handle on your diabetes will reduce the amount of medication you need, which will decrease the amount you spend on medications. Managing your diabetes through healthy eating and exercise may reduce or eliminate the need for medication. Whether it is your budget or your health, saving money always starts with better management.
It seems like no matter where you look, brand name items can cost twice as much as the generic counterpart. The same goes for your diabetes medications. Look for any generic choices that are available. Generic medications can be half the price of brand name. Always ask your doctor if there is a generic alternative to your prescription, or if there is another prescription that will work just as well that is generic.
The generic strategy also applies to glucose testing strips. Brand name testing strips can be as expensive as $35 or $40 a kit, while their generic counterparts are usually around $10.
Many pharmacists, doctors’ offices, and expos offer a multitude of samples. Doctors typically have samples of the newest drugs on the market. Not only will using these samples (after checking with your doctor of course) save you money, but it might also introduce you to a more efficient way of treating your diabetes. However, beware because once you run out of samples you may end up having to pay full price for the medication, depending on your insurance coverage.
Sales and coupons
Managing diabetes can be difficult, especially when it comes to meals. One of the more important guidelines for diabetics is a healthy diet. However, sometimes eating healthy can become expensive. Always take advantage of weekly sales and coupons at the grocery store. If there is an item you use consistently in the kitchen, stock up when it’s on sale. Dee and her family spent $238 this year to join a CSA (consumer supported agriculture group), but overall they felt it was worth the money to have fresh organic vegetables all summer long.
When you are purchasing diabetic supplies like testing strips or meters, look for any company’s coupons. Most diabetes magazines have several coupons that you can use to save on your everyday supplies.
Utilize sites like eBay, Amazon, and online medical supply websites. With most diabetic medications, there is an online medical supplier that sells it at a fraction of the cost. Brick and mortar stores are an option as well. You can also purchase medical I.D. bracelets and testing strips for much less online as opposed to your local pharmacy.
First, if you have diabetes, do not assume that you can’t get life insurance. There is an incorrect myth in the diabetic community that states that if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you cannot qualify for any life insurance. If you have dependents you will probably want to look into getting something like a term life insurance policy.
Second, just because you’re a diabetic doesn’t mean you have to pay through the roof for your premiums. There are plenty of insurance companies that specialize in helping diabetics receive lower premiums for insurance. You rates will depend on your overall health, type of diabetes, and how well you are controlling your diabetes. Many diabetics may get standard rates if they are healthy otherwise.
Exercise does not need a gym
Are you looking for a quick way to save $40 a month? Cancel your gym payment. Exercise is important to managing diabetes, but you do not have to pay for a fancy gym to stay in shape. While all the machines might be nice, you can get the recommended amount of intense exercise by going for a jog or doing an in-home exercise routine.
As with most financial situations, there is usually a way to spend less money. Keeping your eyes open to the possibilities and being willing to ask questions of your doctor and other diabetics will make sure that you or your loved ones are not overspending on anything needed to manage diabetes.
Do you know anyone with diabetes? Do you have other ideas for ways for people with diabetes to save money?
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