Carolinas HealthCare System
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5 Ways to Manage Diabetes at Low (or No) Cost
Take the Test, Know Your Score!

Living with diabetes can be not only challenging, but also expensive. From copays and prescriptions to outlays for healthy food, the cost of managing diabetes can quickly add up. According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with diabetes spend nearly $8,000 each year for diabetes-related medical expenses, and their total medical costs are two to three times more than they would be if they didn’t have the disease.

How can you get the biggest bang for your diabetes care buck? Here are five ways to help manage your condition at low (or no) cost:

Check your Medications

Ask your healthcare provider if you can take generic medications equivalent to the name-brand ones you’re using now. Also, ask if a combination drug can do the work of two or more separate diabetes drugs.

Explore Discounts

Some health insurers offer disease management programs for those with Type 2 diabetes with personalized recommendations on managing your diabetes and reining in costs. Also, check with your local and state governments to see whether they offer programs that provide assistance with diabetes-related prescription costs. Some drug companies also offer this assistance to those without drug coverage, so call the company directly.

Tackle Your Test Strips

Ordering test strips in bulk – such as in a 100-count box instead of a 50-count box – is often cheaper. So is ordering test strips through the mail through your insurance company, which may charge a lower copay for this.

Investigate Insulin Options

An insulin pen may be cheaper than an insulin vial for those on small doses, since less insulin is thrown away at the end of the month. Also, buy syringes in bulk.

Change Your Lifestyle

A long, brisk walk costs nothing, but regular exercise such as this can pay off in successfully managing diabetes. Research suggests that losing just 5 to 10 percent of your total weight can help significantly lower blood sugar levels along with cholesterol and blood pressure.