The costs associated with diabetes are overwhelming. Even if you have insurance, diabetes can be expensive. According to the ADA, the average person with diabetes spends $16,752 a year on medical expenses, which is double the cost of what a person without diabetes spends.
Fortunately, there are ways to take care of your diabetes, even without insurance. This blog post will discuss some of the best ways to find affordable diabetes care.
The costs of diabetes
Here are some of the main costs associated with diabetes (if this feels overwhelming, skip to the end, where we give you tips for affordable options):
Routine visits with health care providers to make sure you're on track are an essential part of managing diabetes, but they can add up, especially if you need to see your doctor multiple times a year.
People with diabetes may also need to see specialists for additional medication management, screenings, or education, adding more to the cost of diabetes care.
There are many different types of diabetes medications with varying costs. Metformin, a commonly prescribed diabetes medication, can be more affordable, but other diabetes medications can cost much more.
Prices for medications like insulin have skyrocketed over the past decade. Since 2014 insulin prices have increased by 50%, while non-insulin diabetes medications have risen by 75%. For example, GLP-1 medications (Ozempic, Trulicity, Rybelsus) are a commonly prescribed class of diabetes medications, but they can cost up to $1,000 per month without insurance. All of this makes diabetes care unaffordable for most people (9am.health has more affordable alternatives).
Lab tests like A1c, a lipid panel (Cholesterol and Triglycerides), comprehensive metabolic panel (liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance), and microalbumin to screen for early signs of kidney disease (soon the be offered at 9am.health) are critical parts of making sure medication or lifestyle changes are working.
But the costs associated with these tests, not to mention wages lost from taking time off work, can add up (compare this to the at-home lab tests offered by 9am.health for $15). It's no wonder many people don't feel they can stay up on the lab recommendations.
Affordable, complete care
• Personalized care plans
• Prescription medication
• At-home lab tests
• Unlimited virtual medical care
• Blood glucose meter, strips
Supplies like a glucose monitor, test strips (which can sometimes average about $1.50 per strip without insurance), and lancets are often required for people with diabetes to check their blood sugars in order to manage their diabetes. The total cost can vary depending on how often you check, but it can add up quickly.
Diabetes care for people with no insurance or high copays
So what can you do if you don't have insurance, have a high deductible, or your copay is through the roof?
You have options:
- Check to see if you qualify for Medicaid.
- Search for free or low-cost primary care clinics in your area.
- Find coupons for your diabetes medications, e.g. through GoodRx.
- Talk to your doctor about cheaper alternatives, including generic low-cost insulins
- If you have a Costco, CVS, or Walmart near you, they all have discount prescription drug programs or cheaper medication options. Always talk to your diabetes care team before switching medications.
While all of these may be options for you, they can be inconvenient and still don't address the root of the problem: quality diabetes care is expensive. That's why we've been working on a solution to make diabetes care more affordable for everyone.
9am.health is a virtual diabetes care clinic where you can access everything you need—doctors, medications, labs, education, specialists—in one affordable place.
We believe that everyone deserves access to diabetes care
Living with diabetes can be expensive, but affordable care options exist. With a little bit of research and knowledge, you can find the diabetes care that you need. 9am.health saves you time and money. We offer labs and prescriptions delivered to your door, plus an online care team ready to support you on your schedule—because we know that diabetes care should be accessible to everyone.
Affordable diabetes care is available
With 9am.health, you'll get everything you need to manage your diabetes in one place without breaking the bank. Learn more about our affordable subscription options, including free prescription delivery, at-home testing options, and access to an entire team of diabetes experts here.