Diabetes mellitus (often referred to as just “diabetes”) is the name given to a collection of disease that affects how the body makes use of glucose, or blood sugar.
Glucose serves as a source of energy for the cells that your tissues and muscles are comprised of; it also fuels the brain. Therefore, glucose is vital to your overall health and well-being. However, patients who have diabetes have excessive amounts of sugar in their blood, or high blood glucose levels. When the levels are too high, serious side effects can occur, and those side effects have the potential to be deadly.
As a chronic disease, once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will have it for the rest of your life. To date, there is no known cure, but there are treatment options available. Manufactured insulin is the best way to manage the condition. In addition to medications like insulin, diabetics also require regular health examinations. Furthermore, these patients are susceptible to a variety of other health complications that can stem from the illness. As such, having good health insurance is vital for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
The cost of diabetic care can be exorbitant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cost of medical care for diabetics is nearly 3 times the amount it is for non-diabetics. Therefore, having good health insurance coverage is vital; without it, the cost of medical care can be financially crippling.
Health Insurance and Diabetes
Not long ago, patients who had pre-existing conditions were often denied health insurance coverage. The health insurance industry is in the business of making money, and in their eyes, patients who have pre-existing conditions cost too much to insure because they require more medical care. The more care a person needs, the more an insurance company has to pay out, which can cut into their bottom line. Fortunately, however, that has changed. The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) made it possible for diabetics to not only obtain health insurance but to obtain more affordable coverage.
Under the ACA, private health insurance plans are required to offer coverage for patients who have pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes. With more access to coverage, diabetics have more access to the preventative care that they need to maintain their overall health and well-being.
Finding Health Insurance for Diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and you don’t have health insurance, or you have insurance, but it doesn’t provide the coverage you require (perhaps you have an employer-sponsored health insurance plan that doesn’t offer comprehensive diabetic care, for example).
Fortunately, you can purchase a policy that will provide you with the coverage that you need to manage your diabetes through the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you are interested in purchasing a policy through the Marketplace, you will need to research which plan will best suit your needs, as there are many available. Once you have determined which plan you are interested in and eligible for, you will then have to wait until the open enrollment period to purchase your coverage. The open enrollment period begins in November of each year and extends until January 1 of the following year; however, often times, the open enrollment period is extended beyond January 1.
Educate Yourself About Your Health Insurance Coverage
It’s important to note that you should take the time to fully educate yourself about your coverage. Every policy is different and you’ll want to be sure that you fully understand exactly what services are covered. Additionally, you should find out if you have to see in-network doctors or if you can visit out-of-network healthcare providers. It’s also important to learn about any payments that you will be responsible for; while your plan may offer coverage for your medical care and medications, you will have a deductible that you will have to meet, as well as co-pays that you’ll have to cover for any services that you receive.
Being well educated about your health insurance coverage will ensure that you can receive the medical care that you require to help you manage your diabetes and your overall health.
Summing It Up
The American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetics pay more than $16,000 a year for the medical care that they require, and nearly $10,000 is for diabetes management. With those high costs, it’s easy to see why having good health insurance is so important for diabetics.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes and you need help finding coverage, speak to a reputable insurance agent. Together, you can discuss the different plans that are available and find one that will provide you with the best coverage to meet your specific needs. Just because you’re a diabetic doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have access to health insurance; in fact, it means that you should have even more access to coverage.