The cost of diabetes

This post was written by Leigh Ann Brooks, RN, BSN, RD, CD, CDE, nursing services operational lead, Diabetes Education Center.

Health care is expensive! When we go to the doctor, we might pay a copay and receive a bill later for the difference in what our insurance doesn’t cover. We may also need a medication that we will again pay a copay to obtain. We may need a test or exam that we have to pay for out of pocket because we haven’t met our really high deductible or because we are in the Medicare “donut” hole. This is if we are lucky enough to even have insurance! Without insurance, we may put off preventative care, medications and tests or exams because of the expense.

When a person has diabetes, this can become a very big problem. Not seeking preventative care for diabetes complications can cost a fortune down the line. According to the American Diabetes Association, Americans with diabetes will incur an average of $16,752 per year in medical expenses and $9,601 will be directly related to their diabetes. Medical expenses for patients with diabetes are more than double those of patients without diabetes.

Insulin is not an optional medication for most people with diabetes. It is a requirement to live and yet between the year 2002 and 2013 the cost of insulin has tripled. This on top of syringes, pen needles, meters, test strips, lancets and physician visits can create a huge financial burden on the patient. When a patient can’t afford the basic diabetes supplies and medications, their risk of being hospitalized or developing complications will increase significantly.

Knowing the resources available for help is very important.

  • Your doctor’s office – They may have samples, coupons or generic alternatives to help. Some insurance providers prefer different brands of meters or insulin, and perhaps investigating this with your physician could save you money each month.
  • Pharmaceutical companies – Some pharmaceutical companies offer programs for those who cannot afford medications.  
  • Parkview – You can contact us to obtain guidance and assistance with medications by emailing the Mediation Assistance Program at prmcmap@parkview.com.
  • The American Diabetes Association – For immediate assistance with obtaining insulin, patients can visit the American Diabetes Association website.

If you need education or assistance managing your diabetes, or want to meet with a certified diabetes educator for additional information, please contact the Parkview Diabetes Treatment Center at (260) 373-4280.

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