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Diabetes is a metabolic condition in which the body fails to convert glucose into energy. It’s the fastest-growing long-term disease in the world. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, an estimated 285 million people worldwide are affected by diabetes, with seven million new diagnoses upping the numbers each year.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that about 25.8 million people in the United States—or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population—currently suffer from it.
People with diabetes have to deal with many tasks throughout the day, such as managing their diet, testing their blood sugar, and taking their medications. As if that’s not enough, diabetes arrives with another challenge: a hefty price tag attached to treatment.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), people with diabetes incur medical costs that are about 2.3 times higher than those of their diabetes-free peers.
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.
Longer-term health complications like dialysis, eye condition treatments, and attending to mental health issues (people with diabetes have been shown to have a higher propensity for depression than the general population) rack up the bill. Insurance covers some of these fees for those who are fortunate enough to have it. However, most costs are left to the patient to pay out of pocket.
ADA research found that people with diagnosed diabetes spend about $13,700 on medical expenses per year, of which $7,900 can be attributed to their disease. Given this information, 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 financial health:
People who urgently need financial assistance for medical expenses are often reluctant to turn to others for help. Maybe they don’t want to appear needy, or they feel guilty calling on other people’s generosity. Remember that many of the programs listed above 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
Published on: Jan 24, 2014on: Dec 16, 2016
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