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The Importance of Health Insurance Coverage for Diabetics

By Meredith Ledford on January 23rd, 2010

Health Insurance

Chronic disease is a major issue affecting our health care system and our economy. The chronic disease diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States. It is not only affecting the health of many Americans, but our national budget as well.

Diabetes is a precursor to other serious health conditions. The chronic illness could lead to damaged nerve endings and blood vessels, which in turn lead to serious health complications including blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

If you have diabetes, you have significant medical needs and should have health insurance to help meet those needs.

The Diabetes Epidemic: Who and How Much?

Sometimes, looking at an issue through statistics can be illustrative. The data below may provide you with some key facts about the diabetes epidemic in the United States:

  • More than 8% of Americans have diabetes--meaning 1 in 4 men, and 1 in 5 women have diabetes
  • Nearly 1 in 2 African-Americans, and 1 in 5 Caucasians die from diabetes each year
  • An increasing number of children have diabetes in the US. More than 1 in 4 students across the country are at an unhealthy weight. Many of these children and adolescents are at an increased risk for health problems during their youth and into adulthood
  • In 2007, the direct medical costs attributed to diabetes were $116 billion and indirect costs (disability, work loss, and premature mortality) were $58 billion

The Significance of Affordable Health Insurance for Diabetics

As a diabetic you must self-manage your disease, and have regular medical check-ups with your health care provider. Self-management can be expensive because you need supplies to manage and control your blood glucose levels, such as a monitor and testing strips. The routine costs of managing diabetes can reach hundreds of dollars per month.

If you are an uninsured diabetic, it may be harder for you to manage your diabetes due to the expense of services and supplies. The expense of your chronic illness may make you far less likely to receive needed care, and to effectively manage your disease.

A lack of health insurance may make it harder for diabetics to manage and control their diabetes--leading to adverse consequences. But just having affordable health insurance does not necessarily guarantee that you can get the necessary services and supplies.

The cheapest health insurance can sometimes be inadequate in meeting your diabetic needs. Be sure to compare health insurance rates and the benefits of any health plan you are considering.

Source :
Kaiser Family Foundation • State Health Facts • Jan 12, 2010 • http://www.statehealthfacts.org/

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