Diabetes Blog Week: The Cost of a Chronic Illness.

Diabetes Blog Week is just like it sounds… diabetes bloggers all over the world, blogging on daily topics for an entire week. Or, in this year’s case, for five days. To find out all about Diabetes Blog Week and to sign up, CLICK HERE.

This is my 6th year participating in Diabetes Blog Week. I am happy and honored to participate again. Today’s topic: The Cost of a Chronic Illness.

Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?  (This topic was inspired by suggestions from Rick and Jen)

To be sure, cost is a factor when it comes to living with diabetes. As I’ve noted before, I’m one of the really lucky people who has a good job that comes with a good insurance plan. I have access to an insulin pump, insulin to put in it, and a continuous glucose monitor.

And I still spend about $3,000 out of pocket for drugs, infusion sets, reservoirs, doctor co-pays, and countless other diabetes-related items every single year.

That’s enough money to take a really nice week-long trip to Europe. It’s money that could have been spent on my nieces or nephews. Money that could have helped fund even more research toward a cure for diabetes.

And I’m one of the lucky ones. Others in the United States don’t have access to even good food, let alone good tools to help them take care of their diabetes. That’s because so many in this country have the power to withhold that right from our citizens, and are comfortable with doing so. They equate health with worthiness. There’s a special place in hell reserved for people who are comfortable with doing that.

That said, I’ve now spoken with at least two people living outside the USA, who have helped me understand that their health care systems aren’t exactly fantastic either. Either coverage is spotty around the country, or there is a sizeable tax supporting the universal health care they enjoy. The one thing they do enjoy is the right to a certain amount of basic medical care. The one thing we’re in danger of losing in the USA is the right to a certain amount of basic medical care.

What I’ve learned is this: there are still people struggling to afford the basic needs of living with diabetes. And there’s still a lot of education needed to get everyone to the point where they understand that taking care of everyone helps to make their country better, wherever they live.

I fear the cost of living with diabetes will only continue to grow. For the people and companies benefitting from rising prices, there’s no reason to shrink the cost.

Our ability to convey the compelling, absolute, time sensitive necessity of caring for everyone living with every type of diabetes, regardless of what our insurance policies or bank statements look like, wherever we live, could make a life and death difference for millions over the coming decade.

That kind of message is worth the cost.

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  • Karen  On May 16, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Well said, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Heather Gabel  On May 16, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Thank you, Stephen. I value your call for more education. I’m not sure why, but people do not seem to complain about car insurance like they do about health insurance, even though the concept is the same. We all pay monthly, so that the insurance company has enough money to cover those getting in accidents today. The same ideology and thinking pattern doesn’t apply to healthcare. I’m baffled. Thank you for raising that important point.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mike Hoskins (@MHoskins2179)  On May 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks for this. Same here, in appreciating your post and the points you make. I worry that in this day and age, too many have lost the ability to think critically about this issue and educate themselves. Instead, the anger clouds everything. Not to say we shouldn’t be mad, but I think (even beyond just diabetes and healthcare and getting into politics) everyone is so connected into their own online POVs that we’ve lost the ability to sit and talk. Congress is no shining example, they are the case-in-point on how this shouldn’t be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  • adiabeticabroad  On May 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I do hope that the more we speak up about the necessity for change, the closer we’ll get to it.


  • Rick Phillips  On May 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I think trace access for cost. Not all of us would make the same choice. But it appears to be a the trade that is made around the world.


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