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Monday, August 30, 2010

How Much Does Diabetes Cost?

Last week, we used up all of our money set aside for our flexible spending account.  This feature of our insurance is so wonderful because we are able to take care of our (mostly my) medical expenses tax-free and without worrying about putting it in our budget.  But the start-up costs associated with Constance and some changes in copays have made us pay more this year for certain things.  No biggie, it just means we have to pay the rest for this year and tally up how much we spend on medical expenses.  So, here's what I spend on ALL my medical expenses for the whole year (talk about transparency): 

Insulin--$20 for 2 vials every 2 months = $120
Test strips--$20 for 200 strips per month = $240
Pump supplies--$53.15 for 3 months of supplies = $212.60
Dexcom sensors--$26 for 3 months = $104
Glucagon Rx--$20 for one year (if I never use it *knock on wood*)
Endo copay--$25 every 4 months = $75
Yearly physical copay--$15
Dentist copay--$20 for twice a year = $40
Heartburn medicine (my only non-D Rx)--$5 for one month supply = $60

TOTAL = $886.60 per year

Add in the amount of money I spend on glucose tabs, juice, and other low supplies, my total medical expenses could easily be rounded to $1000/year, conservatively.  Also consider the other appointments involved with diabetes that I haven't been to this year--podiatrist, optometrist, and CDE.  Using the same amount of payment, granted on this insurance plan, would equal to $4000 total I've spent on diabetes by my 4th diaversary this year.  Over the course of a lifetime, I could easily buy my dream car with the amount of money I spend on diabetes.  Hopefully this investment in my health will mean a long, happy life with my family and friends here on Earth.  But dang, that's a lot of money! 


  1. Now Imagine just how much it would be if you had to cough up all that out of pocket without Insurance. Am thinking an Aston Martin Vanquish V12 lol

  2. Haha, nice, I would like to restore an old American muscle car to top condition. Like an old Challenger or something like that. Love me some muscle car. Vroom vroom! B-)

  3. That's very, very similar to my experience.

    In the run up to healthcare reform, I found out how much my diabetes cost my family (about $900 last year). That's just my part. My contribution to overall healthcare costs in the US was somewhere between $10,000 and $13,000.

    I also calculate that if the US spent just $1 billion a year on a cure for type 1 diabetes, we could have a 100:1 return-on-investment if a cure were found in 10 years. That doesn't even include the dream cars and other stuff we could buy that would create new jobs. :^)


  4. I should say that more than 90% of the 10-13,000 per year was paid by my insurance company. Thank goodness!

  5. You must have great insurance! I have to pay everything at 100% until I reach my $3000 deductible and then I pay 10% for everything after that. So for example my test strips are $300 for one month, not to mention all the other items you mentioned above. I pay $100 for each dexcom sensor (which is why I wear it 14 days instead of 7)! It's depressing to think of how much money I would have if not for D!

  6. Echoing Lindsay here, but you must have GREAT insurance! Even with my insurance, Here's my monthly co-pays
    Lantus: $88 x 12 = $1,056 per year
    Humalog: $45 x 12= $540 per year
    100 test strips: $33 x 12 = $396 per year
    Endo co-pay: $50 x 6 times per year = $300 per year
    Diabetic Educator co-pay: $50 x 6 times per year = $300 per year
    Diabetic Nutritionist: $50 x 6 times per year = $300 per year
    Dentist co-pay: $50 x 2 twice per year = $100 per year

    I'm an insulin dependent type 2. I'm also on lisinopril & synthroid.

    So my out-of-pocket after insurance is over $3,000. On top of my self-paid insurance which runs an additional $3,440 per year. This doesn't include my husband's self-paid insurance policy which costs us another $2170 per year.

    Our health-related costs take up over 20% of our budget, not including our deductibles and percentage that we pay over our deductibles. If we could afford to pay all of those as well, it would be 30-45% of our budget. Any wonder we still live with his parents and can't begin to fight our diabetic-related infertility?


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.