How to Get Help With Medication Costs When You Live With Type 2 Diabetes


Getting the medications, services and supplies you need to manage your type 2 diabetes should never be a matter of cost. Unfortunately, it is—and it happens too often for many community members!

If you need help affording your diabetes medications and supplies, this guide includes a list of resources that can help make life with diabetes a little easier and (hopefully) more affordable.

Affording prescriptions

A large chunk of healthcare costs for people with type 2 diabetes are prescriptions. There are methods to cut these costs through state and nonprofit programs, assistance programs from pharmaceutical companies and generic alternatives. Generic alternative medications or supplies are generic equivalents of a different drug or supply than the one you are taking or being prescribed that may work just as effectively but significantly reduce costs.

If you cannot afford the prescriptions or supplies that your doctor ordered, first talk to your pharmacist or direct medical supplier about switching to a generic alternative. Sometimes it may be cheaper to get a prescription filled on a generic alternative without insurance than trying to get a name-brand drug filled with insurance.

Pharmacists and direct medical suppliers may also be able to refer you to relevant savings programs from drug companies. More on that below!

Patient advocates can help

Your healthcare provider may also be a good first stop when addressing affordability and access concerns. They should be able to steer you to someone—like a patient advocate—who can help you with the financial hurdles of type 2 diabetes or equip you with resources that can help get the costs down at the pharmacy counter.

Patient advocates are a part of your healthcare provider’s network. They can help you obtain medical records, ask the right questions, take notes, help you make difficult medical decisions, review and negotiate medical bills on your behalf and more.

Patient assistance programs may help you

Patient assistance programs (PAPs) are a safety net for U.S. citizens underinsured or without health insurance. PAPs may have slightly different qualification standards. All PAPs should have clear eligibility guidelines listed on their websites.

Some websites may also be more user-friendly and include prompts to help you figure out your eligibility. 

Here are some PAPs and other cost-savings programs and resources worth looking into if you need help affording your type 2 diabetes supplies or medications: 

Finding the right PAP you need:

Device-specific savings programs:

Cost-saving resources from Beyond Type 2 + other diabetes organizations:

Lean on Beyond Type 2 health insurance resources to strengthen your understanding of the health insurance marketplace, get answers to FAQs and learn more about how you can optimize your health insurance plan to thrive with diabetes.

Editor’s note: Information in this resource is derived from a health insurance guide originally created by JDRF, an active partner of Beyond Type 1 at the time of publication. It has been edited to suit the needs of the type 2 diabetes community. 

WRITTEN BY Julia Flaherty, POSTED 09/26/22, UPDATED 01/07/23

Julia Flaherty is a published children’s book author, writer, editor, award-winning digital marketer, content creator and diabetes advocate. Find Julia’s first book, “Rosie Becomes a Warrior.” Julia finds therapy in building connections within the diabetes community. Being able to contribute to its progress brings her joy. She loves connecting with the diabetes communities, being creative and storytelling. You will find Julia hiking, traveling, working on her next book, or diving into a new art project in her free time. Connect with Julia on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.