Some diabetic testing strip manufacturers provide a limited supply of strips to low-cost and community clinics for distribution to uninsured and low-income patients, according to the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. A patients should inquire whether his physician participates in this program.
Patients with medical insurance, Medicaid or Medicare often qualify for free testing supplies through mail order suppliers. These suppliers work with the patient's doctor to provide the testing supplies for the patient, according to Liberty Medical Supply. In some cases, the patient qualifies for a new test meter and other supplies through the program. Since strips are sensitive to temperature and light, the patient should check each vial after opening and before use.
Medicare Part B also covers some diabetic testing supplies, including test strips, as durable medical equipment, according to Medicare.gov. However, the patient must make a co-pay, so the supplies are low in cost, but not free. To qualify for this program, the patient's doctor and equipment provider must enroll in Medicare. In order to enroll and remain in the program, doctors must meet strict standards.
Participating suppliers must accept Medicare's "assignment" for the strips, with patients paying 20 percent of the cost, explains Medicare.gov. Suppliers that are enrolled in Medicare but do not accept the assignment have no limit on what they can charge patients. Other insurance policies sometimes cover the patient's co-pay amount.