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Medical supplies and equipment can be soooo expensive!! I don’t know about you, buy I could buy a house for what I pay for medical insurance, supplies, and equipment around here! For real! So, with all this money going out to pay for your child’s insurance and medical supplies, how do can you save money on these things? There is no way around it. You child NEEDS them. I mean the prices are set in stone, right?
Here are 12 ways to save on medical supplies and equipment:
1. Borrow from therapy center of therapists
Not a lot of people know about this. You can borrow equipment from therapy centers and therapists. Our therapists with Early Intervention for my daughter, used to leave things all the time for her to use to work with.
Our PT let us borrow a stander for close to a year. She would also leave other things here and there for my daughter to use.
2. Get samples from the doctor
The doctor gets tons of free samples from medical companies. We have gotten free Pediasure and free diaper rash cream just to name a few. Sometimes the doctors and nurses are so busy they don’t think to offer. Just ASK.
Side note: These are also good reasons to keep the medical staff on your good side ?. It really does pay to be nice.
3. Ask for generic medicines
Our pharmacy almost ALWAYS checks for generics first, but make sure you are getting the generic BEFORE filling the subscription. If for whatever reason your pharmacy does not carry the generic medicine, change pharmacies.
We used to use two different national pharmacies and they never seemed to have my daughter’s medications on hand. We ALWAYS had to wait on the supply order to come in first.
We switched to a locally owned pharmacy that compounds their own medicine AND has great customer service. We have been very happy and haven’t looked back.
4. Facebook Groups
I just found out about this great resource. There are so many Facebook groups that have used medical equipment.
The people on the groups sometimes have free items on the groups, you just have to pay for shipping. There are A LOT of Facebook groups for used medical equipment.
eBay sells used medical equipment. A friend of ours got tired of waiting on her insurance to approve a gait trainer for their daughter and ordered one from eBay for probably cheaper than the deductible.
If your child uses things that can be sold over the counter, there might be coupons you can print online or in the Sunday paper. Ex: MiraLAX and KY Jelly. You can also use the generic form.
If you don’t see a coupon online, send an email to the manufacturer and ask for a coupon. When I used to extreme coupon, I would email the manufacturers for coupons and you would be surprised how many of them mailed me coupons sometimes for free products.
Tip: If you have never requested coupons from manufacturers, it is easy. Just Google the name of the product and go to the contact us tab on their website. Fill out the form and wait. Just don’t forget to put your mailing address ?
7. Borrow from a friend
Borrow equipment from a friend. If your friend has something they are no longer using or only use say one day a week, ask them if you can borrow it.
My daughter is in a wheelchair and insurance wouldn’t approve the wheelchair until she turned two-years-old. I met a woman at a local Spina Bifida Learning Conference and she gave me a ZipZac for my daughter to use until she got her wheelchair. Her only stipulation was to donate it to another deserving family after we finished it. Which we did, no problem!
8. Make it at home
There are some pieces of medical equipment you can make at home. You can find plans to make your own things at home online. The Zip Zac I mentioned above can be made with a piece of wood and a Bumbo seat, among a few other things. You can make a stander and all kinds of other medical things on your own.
Ask the therapist too. They are so resourceful and are used to working with very little resources. They may have a plan for you to use. You can also find plans on Pinterest or ask another special needs parent if they have a plan.
9. Ask for financial assistance
Sometimes companies offer financial assistance for the co-pays or deductibles. Just ASK. Most of them will not volunteer this information, so you do have to ask.
Don’t be scared to ask. You will never know if you don’t ask.
Some charities give out medical equipment or will help you pay for the deducible or co-pays for equipment.
11. Ask the therapists or social worker
Therapists and social workers are a wealth of knowledge. They love helping people. Just ask them if they know of any charities to help you pay for equipment. They can also help you with plans to build your own equipment, or places that can loan you equipment.
12. Ask other special needs parents
Special needs families are a very valuable resource too. If you see a special needs child out in public with a piece of equipment that you want for your child, just stop them and ask them where they got it or for help.
Special needs families are very helpful. Just ask.
The biggest thing is to just do research and open your mouth and ask. You aren’t shy about letting that Mama Bear come out, so don’t be shy asking for help or resources. Just open your mouth and get to work!
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