Here’s how you can save money on diabetes supplies before end of year
Check your deductible, FSA or HSA to make the most of your benefits
If you have diabetes, managing your day-to-day health can seem like a full-time job — not to mention staying on top of doctor’s appointments, paying medical bills and ensuring you have the right insurance coverage. But as the end of the year approaches, it’s a good idea to take a look at your deductible, flexible savings account (FSA) or health savings account(HSA) and maximize your savings.
Understanding your insurance deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket (OOP) for healthcare services before your health insurance will kick in. The share of the U.S. adult population in private health plans with deductibles of $1,000 or more doubled between 2010 and 2020, while deductibles for Medicare drug plans were required to be lower than $480 in 2022.
Deductibles reset at the beginning of each calendar year, or when you enroll in a new plan. Depending on your plan, certain preventive care, services that charge a copay, prescription drugs and emergency room services are covered before you meet your deductible. The total amount of your deductible and whether it’s combined for medical and prescription varies per plan:
- If you have a combined prescription deductible, your medical and prescription costs will count toward one total deductible. Usually, once this single deductible is met, your prescriptions will be covered at your plan’s designated amount.
- If you have a separate prescription deductible, only prescription costs will count. No other covered medical costs (such as visiting the doctor’s office) will count toward your prescription deductible.
Once you reach your deductible, your insurance plan starts paying its share of costs and you pay your share. That’s why healthcare items purchased at the beginning of the year may cost more. If you need to pay for medical expenses regularly, i.e., if you have diabetes, knowing how close you are to meeting your deductible can help you control these costs. If you’ve met or are close to meeting your deductible, your OOP costs will likely be lower for medical treatments and services.
Making the most of your deductible
While it’s a predictable calendar event, when medical and prescription deductibles reset in the new year, healthcare becomes more expensive. This is especially true for anyone with a chronic condition like diabetes — you must meet your deductible again before your OOP costs will decrease. If you’ve met your deductible for the current year, you’re likely to pay a lower cost for medical visits, prescription drugs and more, compared to what you’ll pay if wait until the after the new year.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve met your deductible, call the number on the back of your insurance card or check your Explanation of Benefits. If you have met your deductible, be sure to:
- Refill prescriptions — like Gvoke HypoPen® (glucagon injection), the rescue pen that all patients on insulin need to manage severe lows.
- Schedule doctor’s appointments or lab tests.
- Stock up on diabetic supplies like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors.
What is an FSA and HSA?
An FSA (or HSA) is a special account you put money into that you can use to pay for certain healthcare costs. You don’t pay taxes on this money, which means you’ll save an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid on the money you set aside. You can use FSA or HSA funds for:
- Certain medical and dental expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents.
- Deductibles and copayments, but not insurance premiums.
- Prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medicines with a doctor’s prescription. Reimbursements for insulin are allowed without a prescription.
- Medical equipment like crutches, supplies like bandages and diagnostic devices like blood sugar test kits.
Making the most of your FSA or HSA
Before the end of the year, check your FSA or HSA account. If you have money left, make sure your prescriptions are up to date and don’t require renewals before the holidays. At the end of the year or grace period, you will likely lose any money left over in your FSA — so plan carefully!
Typically, you need to use FSA funds within the plan year, but you may have options: your employer might offer a “grace period” of up to 2.5 extra months to use the money in your FSA, or they might let you to carry over up to $570 per year to use in the following year. Be sure to find out.
Before you know it, the new year will be here. Get started now to ensure you don’t have to scramble to see your doctor or order prescription refills. Managing your diabetes is a lot of work, but knowing you might be able to save money on some of your healthcare expenses can help ease the stress and financial burden.
Meet Gvoke HypoPen
Gvoke HypoPen is the ready-to-use rescue pen anyone can administer with confidence1
- In a study with simulated emergency conditions, 99% of people used it correctly1
- Simple to administer at a moment’s notice, like an epinephrine autoinjector for severe allergic reactions
- You can even self-administer it in certain situations2
- Can be administered to the outer upper arm, lower abdomen or outer thigh3
- Brings very low blood sugar back up quickly and safely3†
†In two clinical studies in adults, blood sugar levels that were less than 50 mg/dL increased to above 70 mg/dL or increased by at least 20 mg/dL within 13.8 minutes on average.
- Valentine V, Newswanger B, Prestrelski S, Andre AD, Garibaldi M. Human factors usability and validation studies of a glucagon autoinjector in a simulated severe hypoglycemia rescue situation. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019;21(9):522-530.
- Gvoke HypoPen [instructions for use]. Chicago, IL: Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 2023.
- Gvoke [prescribing information]. Chicago, IL: Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 2023.
INDICATION AND SAFETY SUMMARY
GVOKE is a prescription medicine used to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in adults and kids with diabetes ages 2 years and above. It is not known if GVOKE is safe and effective in children under 2 years of age.
Do not use GVOKE if:
- you have a tumor in the gland on top of your kidneys (adrenal gland), called a pheochromocytoma.
- you have a tumor in your pancreas called an insulinoma.
- you are allergic to glucagon or any other inactive ingredient in GVOKE.
GVOKE MAY CAUSE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS, INCLUDING:
High blood pressure
GVOKE can cause high blood pressure in certain people with tumors in their adrenal glands.
Low blood sugar
GVOKE can cause low blood sugar in certain people with tumors in their pancreas called insulinomas by making too much insulin in their bodies.
Serious allergic reaction
Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have a serious allergic reaction including:
- difficulty breathing
- low blood pressure
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS
The most common side effects of GVOKE in adults include:
- swelling at the injection site
The most common side effects of GVOKE in children include:
- low blood sugar
- high blood sugar
- abdominal pain
- pain or redness at the injection site
These are not all the possible side effects of GVOKE. For more information, ask your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before using GVOKE, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have adrenal gland problems
- have a tumor in your pancreas
- have not had food or water for a long time (prolonged fasting or starvation)
- have low blood sugar that does not go away (chronic hypoglycemia)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
HOW TO USE
- Read the detailed Instructions for Use that come with GVOKE.
- Use GVOKE exactly how your healthcare provider tells you to use it
- Make sure your relatives, close friends, and caregivers know where you store GVOKE and how to use it the right way before you need their help.
- Act quickly. Having very low blood sugar for a period of time may be harmful.
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how and when to use GVOKE.
- After giving GVOKE, your caregiver should call for emergency medical help right away.
- If you do not respond after 15 minutes, your caregiver may give you another dose, if available. Tell your healthcare provider each time you use GVOKE. Low blood sugar may happen again after receiving an injection of GVOKE. Your diabetes medicine may need to be changed.
HOW TO STORE
- Keep GVOKE in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it.
- Store GVOKE at temperatures between 68°F and 77°F.
- Do not keep it in the refrigerator or let it freeze.
Keep GVOKE and all medicines out of the reach of children.
For more information, call 1-877-937-4737 or go to www.GvokeGlucagon.com.
Please see the Full Prescribing Information for Gvoke