Sunday, January 30, 2011

Diabetes Supplies vs. Rent & Groceries?

The personal economic impact of diabetes often presents itself as the title suggests.

In Canada the economic impact is best illustrated in a report put forth by the Canadian Diabetes Association called the  The Cost of Diabetes in Canada: The Economic Tsunami 

This report outlines the economic impact from a national perspective; how much it is costing tax payers, and the burden diabetes places on our health care system.  It does not however discuss the personal struggles individuals experience financially when managing their diabetes.

It's a no brainer that, with out appropriate coverage for diabetes supplies diabetes control is worsened. 

There's been a number of instances in 28 years where I've had no coverage. Times when I'd have to limit the number of test strips I use, or the type of insulin I choose.  Recently I changed jobs, and went with-out coverage (for myself and 2 type 1 kids) for four months. 

I went off my pump for 3 months to offset the cost, and spent $1400 per month to cover test strips, insulin, supplies, infusion sets, and the usual regime of Rx medication associated with diabetes completely out of pocket. 

We are still catching up.  I am speaking from a Canadian perspective, and couldn't imagine having to pay out of pocket for basic medical care. 

It frustrates us as a family. It has been a "thorn" for many years, simply because Type 1 diabetes is a disease that you can not delay or avoid, you simply wake up one day and are told you have it.  

It's unfortunate that anyone has to pay for essential medical supplies. It's not like we can choose not to test, or take insulin.  Some PWD(people with diabetes)choose the best therapy and often have to choose between rent or groceries, and whether or not to continue insulin pump therapy.  

Fortunately some Canadian provinces are catching on and have implemented programs that provide pumps and supplies to individuals free of charge.  Notice how I say most...

Most people fear job losses, and general economic set backs, but when you have diabetes one must also fear worsening control and choosing between rent or buying essential medical supplies. 

That's just not right! 



Joanne said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! I've been curious about what is/isn't paid for in Canada (I'm a Canadian living in the U.S.). My husband and I joke that if he ever lost his job, we'd hightail it back up north.

Looking forward to reading more about you and your family!

Sarah said...

Just found out about your blog on CWD and this post caught my eye - I live in the states, my husband and one of my sons has t1d. To say it's been a financial strain would be an understatement. We are lucky to have supportive family for without them we would have had months where our choices would have been between groceries, gas, or the cost of preschool. Sometimes there is no room for fun but again, lucky for us, our family is near and treats us often to the splurges of life that add spice and fun!
Take care and I look forward to more posts :)

Celine said...

I'm one of the lucky ones. I live in Ontario so my pump supplies are almost entirely covered. I also have coverage from work that helps pay for insulin and test strips. But I'm still paying up to $200 a month. Being on an already tight budget, I can't imagine what I would do if I had no coverage whatsoever.