Getting Insulin at the ER

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Overview

Going to the hospital just to get free insulin at the ER definitely should be your last resort, as you may have to wait hours, and end up with a huge bill (even though you won't have to pay it right then).


Of course, if you don't have another alternative, or if you are having an emergency -- like possible ketoacidosis -- then don't hesitate.  Otherwise, the other options are much better.


If you do run out of options, at the ER you will be able to see a doctor (or nurse practitioner or physician's assistant), who should provide you with some insulin and maybe a prescription for more.  Plus, they will not require payment at the time if you are unable to pay.  


However, they will bill you (and a lot!), unless you request, and are approved, for free or reduced-cost care.   And even if you have a moderate income, it's best to apply for this.   They'll ask you several questions and/or have you fill out an application.



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