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Does anyone know of or use any programs to help with the costs of the test strips/insulin/needles et cetera? I'm 24. I have a full time job, but I don't make very much money. I have health insurance through my employer, but even after that, the costs are still pretty significant. I've heard of Prescription assistance programs. Anyone use those or know the qualifications for acceptance?

What about taxes, are there any sort of tax breaks for being a type 1 or for all the medical costs in general? I've been told that I need to check my blood sugar at least 4 times a day, take insulin shots before every meal and before bed, and visit the doctor every month or two. I'm convinced I'm going to end up on the streets!
 

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If you are low income check with the manufacturers of the insulin and strips that you use. Some will give you discount cards to use at the pharmacy. Also Walmart has super cheap strips. My insurance doesn't cover my strips so I buy them online at Amazon. As far as the doctor visits as you get more under control you won't have to go as often but you might want to check around for free or sliding scale clinics. Walmart also sells cheap N and R insulin but I know many diabetics don't like it, but it is cheap.
 

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The prescription assistance programs I'm aware of are for senior citizens & are supplementary to the Part D Medicare policies. Our state of Missouri calls theirs MoRx & it picks up 50% of any deductible on your Part D policy, as well as co-pays, and continues to pay even if/after you drop through the doughnut hole. I think this is only for the meds themselves - not supplies/equipment.

It's possible that there are programs for younger citizens too - I just haven't done the research.
 

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My Accuchek Aviva monitor came with a prescription discount card thingy where you don't pay more than $15. The strips themselves are kind of on the pricey side (~$130 for 100) if you have to pay out of pocket, but with my insurance and the discount card, it's just $15 whether I buy the 50 pack or 100 pack of strips.

The portion of your medical expenses over 7.5% of your AGI are deductible from your taxes but you have to itemize your deductions to claim it. For example, say your AGI is $10000 and your medical expenses for the year were $1000. 7.5% of your AGI is $750 and the portion of your medical expenses over that ($250) would be deductible. Not sure yet how diabetes type supplies fit into that though.
Publication 502 (2010), Medical and Dental Expenses
 

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Be creative. Someone posted the Ebay idea which works well provided the expiration date is available. Personally I searched around town until I found a resale shop that often has used medical items. I often visit and get nothing but yesterday I struck paydirt and got 5 50 count boxes of one touch ultra test strips that don't expire til 2012 for 69 cents a box. At Walgreens those same boxes are $64.99 ea, so I paid $3.49 for all instead of $324.95.

Turns out I don't have a one touch meter but they're $10, so I'll still be saving over $300. When I see current meters at the resale shop I pick them up, often for a dollar, just in case that kind of strip should become available. If you have resale shops near you, especially those run by nurses organizations, it can be worth a look. So can estate sales from elderly households.

When this doesn't work I either Ebay or buy the Walmart Relion brand.

I've never searched Craigslist for strips but that might be a good idea too.

Take advantage of any offer you see for a free meter as most come with a small starter supply of strips. Years ago I discovered Walgreens had rebates on different meters each month and if I waited til they went on sale I'd effectively get them for free. Didn't have diabetes (or didn't know it yet) at the time so I donated them to resale shops such as the type I shop at now. Don't know if Walgreens still offers such rebates but it's worth a look.

This is an odd world we live in. If someone uses heroin society gives them free needles and methadone. Diabetics on the other hand are left to fend for themselves and are painted as the cause of their own problems. People buy insulin for diabetic pets while their neighbor has none.

Unleash your imagination!
 
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