Islets of Hope for persons with diabetes
We have provided this information for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a recommendation or endorsement of any program or entity.
State Major Medical Risk Pools (List of states that offer insurance and links to sites)
State Insurance & Assistance Programs - State-by-state information about major medical risk and state insurance pools, social and assistance programs.
Private, Charitable & Local Diabetes Financial & Family Assistance Programs - State-by-state guide to local resources for diabetes assistance programs, food banks, financial and medical assistance programs, etc.
General Health Insurance & Subsidy Program Information
COBRA - Health Insurance After Leaving a Job
If you lose your health coverage when you leave your job, you may be able to buy group coverage for up to 18 months under a Federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA. Buying group coverage is cheaper than going out alone to buy individual coverage. If you have a disability, you can extend COBRA coverage for up to 29 months. COBRA may also cover young people who were insured under a parent's policy but have reached the age limit and are trying to obtain their own insurance.
For more information, contact the Department of Labor at 1–866–487–2365.
If you don't qualify for coverage or if your COBRA coverage has expired, you can still seek other options:
Contact your state insurance regulatory office for more information on these and other options. Information on consumer health plans is also available at the U.S. Department of Labor's website.
Health Care Services
The Bureau of Primary Health Care, a service of the Health Resources and Services Administration, offers health care for people regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. To find local health centers, call 1–800–400–2742 and ask for a directory.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) runs hospitals and clinics that serve veterans who have service-related health problems or who simply need financial aid. If you're a veteran and would like to find out more about VA health care, call 1–800–827–1000.
Many local governments have public health departments that can help people who need medical care. Your local county or city government's health and human services office can provide further information. You can also check our state-by-state guide to assistance programs to see if there are free clinics in your area
If you're uninsured and need hospital care, you may be able to get help. In 1946, Congress passed the Hospital Survey and Construction Act, which was sponsored by Senators Lister Hill and Harold Burton and is now known as the Hill-Burton Act. Although the program originally provided hospitals with Federal grants for modernization, today it provides free or reduced-charge medical services to low-income people. The program is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, call 1–800–638–0742.
You can also check our state-by-state guide to assistance programs to see if there are free clinics in your area.
Prescription Drugs and Medical Supplies
If you can't pay for your medicines and supplies without help, you should tell your health care provider. Your doctor may be able to direct you to local programs or even provide free samples.
You or your doctor can order a free filament to check feet for nerve damage. The filament (with instructions for use) is available by calling the Bureau of Primary Health Care's (BPHC's) Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention Program (LEAP) at 1–888–ASK–HRSA (275–4772).
The Medicare program offers a searchable database of prescription drug assistance programs. This website gives information on public and private programs offering discounted or free medication. You can also learn about Medicare health plans with prescription coverage.
In addition, drug companies that sell insulin or diabetes medications usually have patient assistance programs. Such programs are available only through a physician. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and its member companies sponsor an interactive website with information on drug assistance programs.
Also, since programs targeted at the homeless sometimes provide aid, try contacting a local shelter for more information on how to obtain free medications and medical supplies. Check your phone book under Human Service Organizations or Social Service Organizations for the number of the nearest shelter.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
State Children's Health Insurance Program - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to help children without health insurance. SCHIP provides health coverage for children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance. Consumers can obtain information about the program by calling tool-free 1-877-KIDS-NOW (543-7669)
You can also find information state-by-state about social service programs in our "Assistance Programs" section.
Health Insurance with Diabetes Programs
Diabetes Insurance Program
Does your state have a major medical risk pool or other insurance option? Check our state-by-state guide to find out.
Page Updated 02/17/2007