5 ways to save money when you have diabetes

These simple strategies will help you stay healthy while spending less

Woman calculating expenses at home

A diabetes diagnosis can feel like a double whammy. Not only does the condition bring health challenges, but it can also hit your wallet.

While managing diabetes can be expensive, there are several ways to save on prescriptions and testing supplies. The good news is Blue Shield is here to help. Blue Shield plans can offer a variety of benefits and programs – many included at no additional cost. Keep reading to learn more about how you can manage your health – and your bottom line.

  1. Know your benefits. Your plan covers diabetes supplies to help monitor your blood sugar – depending on what product and where you get them, you may pay a lower member cost share. To learn more about these and other benefits, call the customer service line on your Blue Shield member ID card. Or log in to your account to find your medical benefits and scroll down to “Diabetes care”. Diabetes care benefits can include equipment, insulin, self-management training, and/or testing supplies.

  2. Shop around. Compare prices of medications and supplies at local pharmacies, big chain stores, and online drugstores. For medications, choose pharmacies that are in your preferred network for the lowest prices. Not sure what pharmacies are in your network? Use the Find a doctor tool to locate in-network pharmacies near you.

  3. Talk to your healthcare team. Here are some questions to ask your doctor, nurse, diabetes educator, or pharmacist to save money: 

    • Are there less expensive generic medications available – and would they be right for me?
    • Is there a less expensive medication that could be just as effective for me as newer, more expensive ones?
    • Are there programs or coupons that can help cut the cost of my medication?
  4. See an in-network provider. That can make the cost of doctor appointments lower than if you saw an out-of-network provider. Not sure how to find one? You can find in-network providers online with our Find a doctor tool.

  5. Sign up for Virta®. It’s a great – and simple – program designed to treat diabetes. By joining, members may be able to lower their blood sugar and weight – and even reduce or eliminate the need for diabetes medications, a big potential money saver. The program is available to eligible members through Wellvolution® at no additional cost. Here’s what Virta provides: 

    • Step-by-step plan from a physician-led care team
    • One-on-one support from a dedicated health coach
    • Free testing supplies (meter, blood glucose and blood ketone strips, and lancets) shipped right to your door
    • Free Fitbit® Tracker,* digital scale, and mobile app for tracking weight, ketones, and glucose (for eligible members)
    • Recipes, food lists, meal plans and more

          Learn more about Virta here and sign up today.

You can stay healthy – and on budget

Cutting back on necessary treatment to save money can be incredibly risky. Plus, you could end up paying big-time later, with higher treatment expenses, hospital visits, and lower quality of life. Here’s what not to do:

  • Never cut back on (or eliminate) your medication without your doctor’s guidance. Don’t skip doses or split pills that aren’t meant to be split. 
  • Never take less insulin than you need. That could be dangerous, or even deadly.
  • Never reduce testing to reduce your supply costs. Frequent glucose checks give you and your healthcare team the information needed to monitor your condition and make any changes.

Remember, if you’re struggling to afford your treatment, your diabetes care team is there to help you get the care you need. There will be no judgment or shame. So don’t hesitate – just ask.

Page Last Updated 08/23/2022
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*For participants who complete the required activities based on the program selected. Applies to certain Fitbit® models. Limited to one per person. Solera Health reserves the right to substitute an alternative activity tracker.

Virta is a registered trademark of Virta Health Corp., a Delaware Corporation. 

Wellvolution is a registered trademark of Blue Shield of California. Wellvolution and all associated digital and in-person health programs, services, and offerings are managed by Solera, Inc. 

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