Every person with diabetes is different so each client has a different story to tell. Below are clients who were willing to share their experiences with the Diabetes Resource Center.
John has type 1 diabetes and is on two types of insulin and tests 4 times a day. Type 1 diabetics need insulin to live; going without insulin they can have serious complications. He came to us when he had a minimum wage job and, at age nineteen, lost his Medicaid. The day John called we were able to enroll him into our financial assistance program to get him insulin. We also provided him with a coupon which would allow him to get a free box of insulin pens for his other insulin.
John met with our client advocate to review the programs open to him & other referral opportunities. The client advocate assisted with three applications that would cover his insulin cost for up to a year. The advocate facilitated the paperwork with John's family physician, proof read the applications for mistakes, and attached a letter of advocacy from the DRC before sending the forms to the appropriate companies.
Within four weeks John was approved for his two insulins and test strips (test strip company has since eliminated this program - John was referred to a very inexpensive meter). The acceptance has an annual value of $5,676. John was able to avoid what could have been a deadly crisis. John was also taught how to reduce the cost of his doctor visits and labs. He was instructed on how to reorder the medication through the programs and how to apply the next year. John is now self-sufficient in his diabetes care and is living a healthy life.
Debra was a stay at home mom who cared for her mentally disabled daughter. When Debra's husband lost his long time position at a RV plant, the couple lost their insurance. Debra called the Diabetes Resource Center before the insurance expired and was able to use the Emergency Financial Assistance Program to pay co-pays and get a 90 day supply of her diabetic medications. She also was enrolled in diabetic education to help lower her blood glucose numbers and cholesterol with diet.
The client advocate was able to begin applications to enroll Debra into pharmaceutical patient assistance programs for seven of her prescribed medications. With help from her physician, Debra was enrolled in all seven programs to cover diabetic and nondiabetic medications within 60 days. Her monthly savings is over $700. Without this assistance, her family's only option to keep Debra on her medication was to lose their home. Happily Debra continues to stay healthy, keeps a hemoglobin A1c in the recommended range and takes care of her family.
TJ* is 66, African American man & from South Bend. He is a type 2 diabetic & insulin dependent. His physician prescribed him two types of insulin as well as heart medication to control his cholesterol and blood pressure. His only income is from disability. He came in for emergency assistance as he was out of insulin & his physician had no samples. After reviewing his income, the DRC was able to get him insulin that same day.
The Diabetes Resource Center's advocate reviewed his Medicare options with him & noticed his copays were very high. The advocate helped him complete the form for Extra Help with Medicare to see if he could get help. But unfortunately he was over 133% of poverty & didn’t qualify. The DRC then used his denial letter to enter him into a patient assistance program to get free insulin for the rest of the year from the pharmaceutical company. He also qualified for a free cholesterol pill program. The DRC also discussed ways of avoiding the Medicare Coverage Gap which he fell into around September and how to prepare if he does fall into it again. This client now has a clearer understanding on how Medicare works & how to self-advocate. His 2013 plan has lower copays allowing him to afford his drugs longer.
*All names have been changed.