Q:

How do you get free diabetic testing supplies?

A:

Quick Answer

Patients with Medicare Part B qualify for blood sugar testing monitors and blood sugar test strips. The patient's individual circumstances, including if he has other insurance, affect the cost, if any, for the supplies, according to Medicare.gov. Some patients must pay a co-pay for the supplies.

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Full Answer

Most pharmaceutical companies provide people who are unable to purchase diabetic supplies with financial assistance, according to the American Diabetes Association. Each program has specific criteria that the patient must meet in order to qualify.

The FreeStyle Promise Program offers free test strips for patients without public insurance, according to NeedyMeds. The program is a co-pay assistance program with no income limits for patients. As of 2015, a patient calls the program to qualify and requires a prescription from his doctor. The program provides a decision within two to four business days and sends a card to the patient within two weeks for use at the pharmacy. The program also provides a FreeStyle meter to the member.

Riche Diagnostics provides test strips to community clinics and health centers to distribute to patients without insurance or who meet other low-income guidelines, according to the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. While supplies are limited, patients needing assistance with the strips ask their health care providers for them. If available, the doctor provides the patient with the strips.

Searching the Internet is the first step to find either programs or free offers for diabetic testing supplies, notes Battlediabetes.com. Some websites may give the patient a free limited offer, while others offer to handle the paperwork for the individual's insurance company to order the supplies. Local hospitals, doctors' offices and clinics may offer programs for recurring items such as diabetes test strips. Others may offer lower-income patients a sliding scale or reduced fees for testing supplies.

A number of companies arrange to send diabetic testing supplies by mail, generally referred to as "Medicare Participating Providers," but the patient must qualify for Medicare, states FreeDiabetesTestSupplies. The referral site lists potential suppliers under headings of "Free Diabetic Test Supplies by Mail," "Free Samples of Medications," "Local Assistance for Diabetics," "Free Diabetic Test Strips" and "Free Clinical Trials." Mail order companies providing free supplies are listed under "American Diabetes Wholesale" and "Liberty Medical." Obtaining free diabetes test supplies takes continuous checking on the Internet and calling local facilities and health providers.

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