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Question:

From Virginia, USA:

I am having extreme problems with my diabetes. The doctors couldn't really help because I don't have insurance. I need a monitor, but can't afford one at this time. Is there any help around for us Type 2 diabetics? I keep talking to folks who tell me if I were Type l there would be no problem with supplies. Why is that the Type 2 are looked upon as a non-serious risk factor? I guess what I'm trying to say is, is there anywhere I can go to get some sort of help for supplies or treatment to help me get this under control?

Answer:

  1. See Insurance/Costs for related questions, and answers, about dealing with lack of insurance. In the past, the insurance industry had the privilege of making its own rules, and these businesses have frequently discriminated between people on insulin shots and those who are not taking insulin injections. Many states, and the Medicare program, are ending this discrimination, but the old attitudes still persist in about half of the states. Call 1-800-ADA-DISC (the American Diabetes Association) or 1-800-338-DMED (the American Association of Diabetes Educators) for current information about which states have passed legislation to end this discrimination.

    The following quote is from the AADEnet website:

    President Clinton and Congress Come Through!
    AADE efforts at pushing additional Medical funding paid off

    After a two and a half year battle with Congress, we achieved real reform for diabetes patients! The newly passed budget agreement, which was signed into law recently by President Clinton, enacts legislation that will provide $2.1 billion in federal funding over the next five years for diabetes treatment and research. This funding will help even more elderly patients on Medicare with the purchase of supplies and reimbursement for diabetes self-management education. All provisions of H.R. 58 are included in the legislation. This victory is clearly due to your grassroots efforts and the efforts of our state legislative coordinators, who have worked tirelessly to lobby members of Congress to pass this much needed legislation. Here's to a great effort!

    What The New Law Does

    • Three million seniors will benefit through an expansion of Medicare, which will now cover blood glucose monitors, reagent strips and self management education.
    • "The Diabetes Quality Improvement Project" will allow the federal government to work with groups such as ours to find ways to develop a set of diabetes specific performance and outcome measures to be adopted nationwide by consumers, purchasers of healthcare and healthcare professionals.
    • Research for the prevention and cure of Type I diabetes. Funding Level: $150 million
    • Research for treatment and prevention programs for American Indians. Funding Level: $150 million

  2. Meters may be free, if you are seeing a diabetes program where the meter makers have had their arms twisted. (Most general doctors don't have this sort of clout with the manufacturers.) Insulin and pills are liberally available from the manufacturers for people who are truly indigent. Strips, however, are very hard to come by.

  3. For treatment by experts, frequently at a discount, contact your nearest medical school. Ask the Diabetes Nurse Specialists in the Division of Endocrinology (of either the Department of Pediatrics or the Department of Medicine, depending on the patient's age) about their policies on taking care of patients of limited financial means.

WWQ

Original posting 4 Oct 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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