Diabetes1 Forumss


Topic Title: How to save $$$ without sacrificing anything?
Created On: 10/17/2008 08:11 AM
 09/21/2009 02:22 PM

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I've done both ebay and hocks.  I will not purchase from certain Ebay resellers because it's clear they are not just reselling extras.  The strips are either falling off the samples truck or if you watch carefully enough, they buy up big lots cheap, break them down and resell them at almost full retail price.  Scum buckets.  Capitalism at its worst!
I have no problem buying almost expiring or just expiring test strips.  I've done my own testing; they don't go bad very quickly.  Just keep them dry and cool.
Hocks is great.  And they sell several generic brands.  Shipping is free if you spend enough. 
My buddy Juju has been using Relion products from Walmart.  They are very, very, very inaccurate.  She tested to the lab blood sugar it was higher than the FDA allowable 20%!!  Gotta love Wally World.
She's switching to the Agamatrix products (Salem NH) which are less than $20 per 50.  They are also the technology that is within the ~6-7% inaccuracy range because they are using a new technology. 
I'll be waiting to hear how she likes the product AND how accurate it is relative to a lab blood draw.
 09/19/2009 11:17 PM

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Hey Comet! Hmmm, I'm not having much luck seeing if other diabetics I know have bought their strips on Ebay. I'm like you, at the price of $14.95 will those strips have a valid expiry date? Like you say above, they say they'll expire in 6 months - which for me - is no problem - since I average 8 tests strips a day.  How often do you test your BG?

One website I've come across that sells not only BG test strips but also other diabetic supplies is called - [url=http://hocks.com/Merchant5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=Hocks&Category_Code=diabeticsupplies]Hocks.com[/url]. They are showing Freestyle Lite strips/qty. 50 for only $28.99. I'm not sure what you pay in the US - but for myself here in Canada - I pay almost double that price. I looked into the shipping charges - and it shows two examples of:

1) Most qualified orders over $79.00 are eligible for Free Ground Shipping.
2) For lighter weight packages Free Priority Mail shipping may also be available. If the Order Total is $59.00 or more AND the total package weight is 5 pounds or less.

Not sure if you went to  see what the shipping/handling charges would be thru' the Ebay link - but I'm sure it might be of interest to others for comparing - so share with us when you get a chance if you can.
 09/18/2009 11:24 PM

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So here's a new one for me, guys. eBay for Test Strips! There are over 1,800 different sellers here: http://health-beauty.shop.ebay...t-Strips-/72877/i.html . Some of the prices are really cheap- for ex- Accu-Chek 50 Test Strips for $14.95 . Anyone have any experience doing this? Can you rely on accurate expiration dates? For example, the Accu-Chek strips supposedly expire in 6 mo. March 2010.
 11/12/2008 05:33 PM

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I have to admit - we have thought of moving to the US at times - but it's the way the medical system is run in the US that scares the heck out of me (and guns <lol>). Yes, here in Canuck country we pay higher taxes - and our take home pay is less compared to the States and other countries - but because of our socialised system - our provincial health plans take care of the folks that need it and perhaps can't afford it. Granted - we have many long waits for surgery/seeing doctors - unlike the States where you can see one right away if you have a private plan. When I was detected with cancer 10 years ago - I never saw the medical system move so fast. I didn't have time to think about what I was going thru' - bing, bang, boom.

Even tho' I do have a medical insurance plan thru' my workplace - I still have to fork out that extra 20% from time to time - but it's just part of the game plan of having a medical condition. Luckily (not sure how some of you may take this) - diabetes is a controllable disease with lifestyle/exercise change. Other medical conditions are not as easy to handle and have horrible consequences.

I know that on other forums that I belong to - that I do find the US medical system at times abit overwhelming to understand - but then having lived only in England and Canada - I can't really base much of an opinion - since both those countries have a similar system (tho' Wales has an even better one according to my Aunt who lives there).

Not sure if anyone comes to these forums from other parts of our big blue marble - but it would be interesting to hear how they handle affording their medical supplies.
 11/06/2008 12:47 PM

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I'm afraid I do sacrifice things ... new cars, clothes, furniture, entertainment, etc. in order to pay $445 per month in medical insurance. Then add the copays. My current plan is a BC/BS Massachusetts plan with very good coverage. Previously, I've had slightly less expensive United Health Care plans with 80/20 then 75/25 coinsurance with increasing deductibles. And forced purchase of drugs by mail order through Medco.

Saving money depends on your plan and what you need to buy. I use 15 test strips per day so I don't try to overstate them. However, I have been known to have my insulin or syringe prescriptions overstated to spread the copay as much as possible.

I use four different types of insulin and the most expensive is the Apidra. It actually required approval and is a tier 3 copay. So, because I use small amounts, I am getting pen cartridges instead of vials which gets me 5 months supply for one copay instead of one vial.

I reuse syringes but always buy BD, short-needle, 30 unit, 1/2 unit marking syringes.

If you have a mail order program that saves money do that.

If you have meds that are generic (such as lisinopril) which are on the Target or Wally World generic list,, it's possible at $4 that is cheaper than through your insurance.

I think the most important thing to do is to choose the most comprehensive coverage you are offered. WIth diabetes, it is NOT (usually) worth it to spend a few dollars less per month on the premium. You'll lose somewhere else.

You can also try to find an endo who hands out insulin samples. I've gotten plenty of free glucose monitors but never free test strips.

For the uninsured, I recommend looking at ebay for test strips. But you really have to know what you're doing price wise. If you are willing to use multiple monitors, based on what the best price you can find is, you'll save.

My favorite mail order pharmacy is hocks.com. They have wonderful prices on generic test strips and syringes. Their customer service is wonderful as well.

I hope that answers some of your questions ... there are plenty of "tricks of the trade" I've learned over the years, both as a patient and as a former employee benefits administrator.

Best wishes.
 11/05/2008 10:35 PM

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LOL - we met again Runners High. Again, many questions - but nothing about what you do with how you cope with spending for your medical supplies.

Too many questions for me to answer all at once - so I will try to answer a few of them without overwhelming anyone who comes here <lol>. Sorry do I sound like I have a short attention span or what? Maybe.

BG monitors are generally given away free - those companies want you to buy the frigging expensive test strips that come along with it. I live here in Canada - so this may differ for those of you in other parts of our big blue marble. Over the years I've been given offers to go to the "other side" - and "free" strips to give their product a test run. Take advantage of those if you can. It never hurts to try different products. I did the same with the current insulin pump I'm using - managed to go almost 6 months without forking out any $$$'s prior to plunking down the big buckeroos to purchase the pump/supplies outright.

I know in the US that meds/supplies can vary from one place to another - so probably your best bet is to shop around - online - word of mouth from others that have found a good deal. It all depends as well on the insurance company you are with. I have heard of people that only have X amount of test strips for 3 months - and when they run out - they are stuck - sad to say. So, they may either only test a certain amount of times a day - in order to not run out. That is VERY scary - especially for those of us who are tightly controlled with their diabetes.

Will leave it at this for now. You asked alot of questions - so hopefully someone else will pipe in their two cents worth - and I maybe able to find out where the best deals are for free stuff (I love a good bargain).

Take care.
 10/17/2008 08:11 AM

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It seems like it is necessary these days to turn every penny before spending it - even when you consider necessary health care expenses. How do people with Diabetes or other health-related issues deal with it? Can you recommend any cost-saving strategy with out sacrifices for your health?

I am new in the Diabetes space trying to catch up with technology, trends, and saving strategies. Do you usually pay for your monitor (what about upgrades to a new model - maybe even from a competitor)? Where do you get the best price on your test strips? What about ingredients or special meals? Is the answer to everything online - shop online? Can you get free stuff somewhere?

What do people who were just diagnosed have to know?


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