Practical Diabetes Tips For The Budget Conscience
By Mike Boyle

It`s hard enough for people with diabetes – with the recommended help of a health professional – to self-manage their disease, but it`s even harder in these tough economic times for many of those same people to afford the costs associated with managing their disease. However, there is help out there for those struggling with the costs; they just need to know where to start looking.

In an article entitled "Practical Diabetes Tips For The Budget Conscience," which appeared recently on the Huffington Post website, Erin N. Marcus, M.D., a general internist and associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, focused a portion of her article on advice for people with diabetes who lack insurance and need a place to go for primary care. In particular, she mentioned the Needy Meds website, which lists clinics that are free or charge fees based on a sliding scale.

In addition, Dr. Marcus listed 10 tips in her article - offered by a couple diabetics and Kellie Rodriguez, a veteran nurse educator at the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine - that will help people manage their diabetes better, plus in their quest to be budget conscience get the care they need.

One of those budget tips included this: "Glucometers, the machines that test blood sugar levels, usually cost less than $100, and sometimes you can get one for free from a diabetes educator. But the test strips, which cost up to $1 each, can add up. Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance plans usually cover test strips and glucometers. If you lack insurance and can`t afford to test your sugars every day, Kellie recommends checking at different times - one day before breakfast, another day before lunch or dinner, and another day two hours after your largest carbohydrate meal. If you and a family member are trying to economize, it`s OK to share a glucometer machine, but you should never share the lancets that you use to stick your fingers, since the blood could transmit disease."

Look over all 10 tips Dr. Marcus offered here.


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Originally posted July 6, 2010.