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Diabetes can take a toll on you — and your wallet. Even though more than 9 percent of the U.S. population is living with this disease, that doesn’t make paying for it any easier!
Besides buying diabetes supplies and medications, people with diabetes have to deal with many other tasks throughout the day, such as managing and maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and testing their blood sugar.
People with diabetes incur medical costs that are about 2.3 times higher than those of their diabetes-free peers, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
The medications, test strips, and other supplies required to control and monitor a person’s blood glucose can add up fast. A single test strip typically costs around $1. Someone with diabetes could spend several hundreds of dollars on this essential item every month. More frequent doctor visits and the need to see specialists, not to mention potential hospital visits, can add up too. Longer-term health complications like dialysis, eye condition treatments, and attending to mental health issues rack up the bill as well. Insurance covers some of these fees for those who are fortunate enough to have it. However, many costs are left to the patient to pay out of pocket.
ADA research found that people with diabetes spend about $13,700 on medical expenses per year, of which $7,900 can be attributed to their disease. So it’s not surprising that many people feel overwhelmed by the economic toll caused by their physical condition.
Here are some tips that can help people with diabetes manage their finances.
Some people who urgently need financial assistance for medical expenses may be reluctant to turn to others for help. Remember that many of the programs listed were put in place to help, and are available if you ask. Talk to your health care team if you need financial assistance.
Written by: Mary Baucom
Medically reviewed on: Dec 16, 2016: Peggy Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE
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