D Blog Week #2: The Cost of a Chronic Illness

"Today’s topic is 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?"

Our Facebook followers shared their stories:

We are fortunate enough to have excellent private insurance that has covered the majority of our toddler's care and supplies. The financial impact for us has come from an inability to find childcare for a diabetic toddler and having to take more time off from work to care for her. My business has been negatively affected and my income is down significantly. The stress and worry from this is hard to work around, especially with no real solution to our problem - Rebecca D.

As a family of four Type 1's even with decent insurance rising deductible and coinsurance costs have forced me to make personal health sacrifices so that my children and spouse can have the tools they need to manage their diabetes successfully.

- Angela B.

Living in a state without a pediatric endocrinologist, we travel over 6 hours to go for a checkup. The first year of diagnosis was tough. Although they would not agree, my contract to teach was not renewed due to the time I took off for checkups and sick days. I applied for well over a year and a half in my own community to no avail. My husband and I now live in different states so we can make ends meet. Diabetes has rocked our world.

- Jodi S.

The actual monetary cost is hard enough, but the emotional cost from having to deal with insurance companies, pharmacies, and durable medical equipment providers makes it even worse. Numerous hours spent going over each bill and EOB. Then hours spent on hold trying to get problems solved. It takes a toll.

- Joe P.

Tomorrow's topic is the Blame Game: "Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another. And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault. Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger. Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had. Now, the game part. Let’s turn this around. If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself? Let’s help teach people how to support us, rather than blame us!"

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