Experts estimate that a person with diabetes spends four times more on healthcare than a person without diabetes. But there are many ways that you can save m oney without compromising your diabetes management. Some tips:
Save on Prescriptions and Testing Supplies • Know your health insurance coverage. Your total co-payment may be less if your health insurance coverage allows you to order supplies a few months in advance and all at one time. • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about generic drugs that are less expensive, but equally effective. • Check out prescription assistance programs. Many pharmaceutical and testsupply companies offer financial assistance for the uninsured. Visit the American Diabetes Association’s Website (www.diabetes.org) for contact information for companies that manufacture diabetes medications and supplies. • Buy lancets and test strips in bulk whenever possible. First make sure that you can use the larger amount of test strips before the expiration date. • Check for special sales, and keep an eye out for discount coupons. • Store medications and supplies appropriately to avoid spoilage.
Smart Food Shopping • Organize weekly menus in advance to take advantage of supermarket sales and avoid impulse buying. • Special “diabetic” or expensive sugar-free foods aren’t necessary. A diet rich in unprocessed grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy and fresh vegetables and fruits is healthful – and affordable. • Check out store brands – they often cost much less than national brands and taste just as good. • Buy in bulk when practical and when the cost-per-unit makes it a good buy. • Invest in a session with a professional dietician, nutritionist and/or certified diabetes educator to learn the healthiest way to eat for optional glucose control.
Economical Exercise • Do exercise – it helps to lose weight, strengthens your heart and lungs, and control your blood pressure and blood sugar. And improve glucose control lowers the risk of costly diabetes complications. • Walk! It’s one of the best and least expensive forms of exercise. The only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes. • Stretching is free and helps improve flexibility and prevent injury.