|Byram Healthcare Best Overall||Medicare, Medicaid, commercial and private insurance||Free, discreet shipping||Hotline staffed by Certified Diabetes Educators; multi-lingual support|
|Medtronic Best Support for Medtronic Users||Contracts with specific insurance companies||3-day shipping standard, upgraded shipping available||24-hour support available|
|Tandem Best for Specialized Insulin Pump & Technology||Private insurance||Delivery to your doorstep||Library of support materials|
|Insulet (Omnipod Pump) Best for Pediatric Population||Private insurance, Medicare, and some state Medicaid||Pickup at pharmacy or home shipping||Library of diabetes education; community of other users of Omnipod pumps|
|Dexcom Best for Replacements||Many private plans and Medicare||Pharmacy delivery||How-to videos, live chat support|
Guide to Choosing Diabetic Supply Companies
When deciding where to source your diabetes supplies, there are important considerations unique to each person, such as insurance, cost, brand, and more.
Depending on your insurance coverage, you might need to use specific suppliers that contract directly with your insurance. Most companies will do this leg work on your behalf. Many require that you sign up, submit your insurance information, and then they let you know whether they work with your particular insurance. This may become a lot of work if you submit to multiple companies, so an alternative would be to call your insurance company and ask which suppliers they contract with.
People living with diabetes deserve to know that the supplies they use are reliable and trustworthy. Brand reputation can help play a role in this confidence. Ask a healthcare provider for recommendations. They likely see patients using different brands and can recommend ones they deem to be reputable. Ask around in diabetes support groups to get a sense of how customers perceive a brand. You can also read reviews online, but remember that reviews on a brand’s website are likely cherry-picked to show only positive reviews.
Living with diabetes can be expensive. Cost will likely be a critical factor in which diabetes supply company you use. It can pay off to comparison shop between different suppliers. Sometimes ordering directly from the brand you use can be cost-effective. Often manufacturers offer cost savings through coupons or co-pay cards, so check manufacturers’ websites as well.
Convenience in ordering and receiving supplies can help save you time and energy. Getting supplies delivered to your door is a huge bonus when choosing a diabetes supply company. It is also helpful to use a company that a healthcare professional can work with directly when necessary for prescribing.
Anyone with diabetes should have an individualized care plan because there are different types of diabetes, and no two people are exactly alike when treating the disease. For example, if you have type 1 diabetes and take multiple daily injections using an insulin pen device, you will need pen needles, insulin, replacement pens or replacement insulin cartridges, a blood glucose meter, lancets, alcohol swabs, test strips, ketone strips, glucose tablets, glucagon, etc.
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and use insulin pump therapy with a continuous glucose monitor, you will need all the above supplies, in addition to infusion sets, sensors, insulin for your pump, tubing, etc.
If you are a person with type 2 diabetes and take oral glucose medication, and have a history of peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage to the feet), you may need oral medication, a blood glucose meter, test strips, alcohol swabs, compression stockings, and diabetes shoes. Your diabetes care team will help you understand what supplies you need and how long they will last before you need them to be refilled.
Diabetes services and supplies are covered by Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage). Part B covers glucose testing monitors and infusion pumps, as well as test strips, lancets, glucose sensors, therapeutic shoes or inserts, tubing, and insulin. People with diabetes will have to reach their annual deductible to receive this benefit, and then they are responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount (Medicare will pay 80%).
Part D covers insulin, oral diabetes medication, syringes, needles, alcohol swabs, gauze, and inhaled insulin devices. People with part D coverage will be responsible for coinsurance or co-pays and may also be responsible for a Part D deductible payment. To receive these benefits, you must get supplies from a pharmacy or supplier enrolled in Medicare. You’ll have to pay the entire bill for supplies from non-enrolled pharmacies or non-enrolled suppliers. For people with Medicare, at-home diabetes supply companies can often save them money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Diabetes Count as a Disability?
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is considered a disability under most laws. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are protected as disabilities. This classification protects people living with diabetes by requiring reasonable accommodations at school, work, and elsewhere under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is unlawful to discriminate against someone simply because they are living with diabetes. It could also mean someone unable to work because of complications of diabetes can possibly qualify for disability benefits.
How Much Do Diabetes Supplies Cost Per Month?
This will vary from person to person based on what supplies they use, their insurance coverage, and even where they live. Some states have introduced legislation capping the amount of money people have to pay out of pocket for diabetes supplies each month. For example, in Delaware, out-of-pocket expense is capped at $35 per month for diabetes supplies like glucose meters, glucose strips, etc.
But for some, the cost is not capped, and supplies can cost hundreds of dollars per month. Consider joining a diabetes support group to learn about resources in your area.
How Can I Get Diabetes Supplies Cheaper?
Many companies offer hardship programs to help low-income people afford diabetes supplies. You can usually find that information on a company’s website or by calling. There are also charitable organizations to help ease costs, such as Co-Pay Relief, which the American Diabetes Association supports. To qualify, patients must make less than 300% of the federal poverty line.
Another way everyone, regardless of income, can save on supplies is by comparing deals from different online companies. The manufacturers of diabetes supplies often offer coupon or discount cards, co-pay assistance, or other home-delivery deals.
Can People With Diabetes Get Free Supplies?
People in the United States with insurance coverage may get a significant discount on diabetes supplies, and they may even be free. There are manufacturer-based assistance programs for those who need help affording supplies. Some diabetes supply companies have hardship programs that may qualify you for free supplies. Community-based health centers are another excellent resource for people who need help getting their supplies.
Choosing the best diabetic supply company depends mostly on your insurance type. Because there are so many insurance policies out there, we decided the most effective way to scout the best diabetic supply companies was to check out the scope of supplies offered as well as user reviews.
Before deciding on a specific company, it’s important to find out who your insurance has contracts with, which supplies you need, and how you can get them all conveniently to your home with little fuss. People who use insulin pumps might find it easier to get their pump supplies delivered directly from the pump supplier. Compare costs and discuss with a healthcare provider which option is right for you or your loved one.