Skip to main content

How to Save Money on Insulin

Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.

Here's a comprehensive list of ways to keep those costs down:

Use your insurance plan.

Your insurance company can help you understand your coverage for insulin. Insulin pumps, pens, syringes and vials are all covered by Medicare and many insurance plans. They might also cover the cost of an insulin pump or CGM if it’s medically necessary.

When you talk to your health plan about your coverage, be ready to ask questions like:

  • Is my prescription covered?
  • Are there any limits on how much my prescriptions will cost each month?
  • Can I get samples or generics instead of brand-name drugs if they work just as well for me?

Switch to a local pharmacy or mail order service.

If you’re in the market for a new pharmacy, there are three things to consider: reputation, location and price.

  • A good reputation is important because you want to be sure that your pharmacy will honor your prescription, as well as provide good customer service.
  • Don't go too far out of your way to find a pharmacy that will reduce your costs; if it's not convenient for you or takes too much time out of your day, there's no point in paying less money.
  • Finding a good price on insulin is important—you might be able to find better prices at some pharmacies than others! When comparing prices between pharmacies online or by phone, make sure that each includes all applicable fees such as shipping charges so that you can compare apples with apples (or oranges).

Ask for a generic or lower-cost brand.

If you're paying for insulin, it can be tempting to think that the more expensive brands are better. This isn't always the case, however. Some generics are just as good (if not better) than their more expensive counterparts, so there's no need to pay for the brand name if you don't have to.

You should also ask your doctor about getting a prescription for less-expensive brands of insulin. When I first started using insulin and tried out a few different types of insulins, I found that my insurance covered one type better than others. When it came time to refill my prescription, I asked my doctor if there was any way he could change my prescriptions so they would be covered under this insurance plan at 100%. He was able to do this without issue!

Ask for a less expensive option.

  • Ask your doctor if there are any less expensive options. If you have been taking a specific brand of insulin for a long time, it might be worth asking your doctor to prescribe a lower-cost generic version instead.
  • Ask your doctor if there are any coupons available. Some drug manufacturers offer rebate programs that provide savings on certain prescription medications, including insulin products.
  • Ask your doctor if there are any discounts available. In some cases, insurance companies may offer special discounts on certain drugs, including insulin products; in other cases, local pharmacies may offer discount cards that provide savings on certain medications such as these (for example: www://

Consider taking less insulin than prescribed.

Some people with type 1 diabetes may be able to take less insulin than their doctor has prescribed. This is because the body responds differently to insulin when it's taking in more carbohydrate than usual, and some people may be able to adjust their meal plans on their own. The risks of not taking enough insulin include:

Scroll to Continue
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis)
  • Seizures and coma

If you have been taking a certain amount of insulin for a long time, it's best not to change that amount without first checking with your doctor. However, if you have been using Lantus or Levemir and want to try switching back to shots or pens instead of an insulin pump, there are ways in which this can be done safely

Speak with your doctor about switching to a basal/bolus insulin regimen.

As explained above, basal/bolus is a method of insulin delivery where you deliver the same amount of insulin over time (basal) and then add in another dose for food or activity (bolus).

The reason you might want to switch from a sliding scale regimen is because it's difficult to predict how much insulin you'll need for each meal, especially if you eat out frequently. With basal/bolus delivery, you can set up your pump so that it delivers small amounts of basal insulin throughout the day and then gives boluses when you eat or exercise—and this means that your blood sugar levels will be more stable throughout the day.

This change may require some experimentation on your part in order to determine what works best for your body, but once you get it right it should give you more stable blood sugars without needing as many injections per day. If all else fails, remember: there are other options!

Consider the pump.

The pump is a device that delivers insulin through a tube inserted into the skin. It consists of two components: its main body, which contains the insulin and a reservoir (and may be worn on the belt or in a pocket); and an infusion set, which connects to your skin to deliver the insulin.

The pump can be an expensive investment, but it might be worth considering if you are tired of manually injecting yourself with medications or would like to have more control over your blood sugar levels. Typically, insurance companies will cover pumps if you meet certain criteria and there are other ways to get one at no cost like through local resources or online communities like Facebook groups dedicated exclusively towards helping people save money on their health care costs while also enabling them access important medical devices such as syringes without having spend too much money upfront!

Those living with diabetes can save money on insulin through several means, though some are risky.

Before you begin to save money on insulin, it's important to understand the risks of doing so. Those living with diabetes can save money on insulin through several means, though some are risky.


If you’re living with diabetes and struggling to afford your insulin, we hope these tips have given you some ideas for how to save money. Remember that many of them are risky, so try not to take too many shortcuts when it comes to your health. It’s always important to talk with your doctor before making any changes in treatment!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Shanon Sandquist

Related Articles