Save on diabetic supplies using pre-tax money

Published: Sep 16, 7:09am GMT+0

$2,414 a year.

That’s the average a person with diagnosed type 1 diabetes spends out of pocket on diabetic supplies, medication and care, according to a 2020 study of more than 65,000 people with an employer-sponsored health plan.1

If you’re among the 1.6 million Americans2 with type 1 diabetes, using pre-tax money for care could save you hundreds of dollars a year. It pays to know what items are eligible.

The following expenses are tax deductible and can be paid for with money from a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA).

Copays and deductibles: Physician office visits account for 13% of what patients and insurance companies spend on diabetes.3

Medication: This includes insulin, which costs patients an average of $435 per year4, and medications like metformin.

Diabetic supplies: Supplies cost an annual out-of-pocket average of $823 for children and $445 for adults.5 HSA/FSA-eligible supplies include insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, blood sugar testing systems, test strips, needles, syringes and glucose tablets. Everything on our diabetes care page is eligible. Weight-loss programs, counseling and medications: These are eligible if prescribed by your doctor for diabetes treatment.

Additional medications: People with diabetes are twice as likely to have high blood pressure6 Medications such as blood pressure or cholesterol drugs and supplies like blood pressure cuffs are eligible.

  1. JAMA Internal Medicine. Out-of-Pocket Spending for Insulin, Diabetes-Related Supplies, and Other Health Care Services Among Privately Insured US Patients With Type 1 Diabetes.

  2. American Diabetes Association. Statistics.

  3. American Diabetes Association. The Cost of Diabetes.

  4. JAMA Internal Medicine. Out-of-Pocket Spending for Insulin, Diabetes-Related Supplies, and Other Health Care Services Among Privately Insured US Patients With Type 1 Diabetes.

  5. Ibid

  6. American Diabetes Association. Conquer High Blood Pressure.

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