Who’s Managing Their Diabetes in This Economy: When an economic crisis hits, like the one currently at play on the world’s stage, citizens respond with decreased spending and a tightening of the economic belt. The problem comes when the very things we chose to reduce spending on are those things that improve our quality of life.
News accounts discuss the potential of recession weight gain. This happens when stress and a desire for less expensive food combine to add weight to our bodies.
The way this works is that foods with refined flour and sugar are often less expensive and more readily available. Fast food restaurants are generally less expensive and equally filling as more expensive restaurants. The end result is buying less healthy food options because they are cheap while losing the battle of our own personal bulge.
As telling as this is there are other forces at work. Because the cost of diabetic care is expensive there are some diabetics who are reducing the cost of their care by foregoing blood glucose testing and holding back or even eliminating medications used to treat diabetes.
The Miami Health Examiner reports, “The typical monthly bill for someone with diabetes runs $350 to $900 for those without insurance, and the cost is rising as newer, more expensive medicines hit the market. Also, emergency care and a short hospitalization can easily top $10,000, and long-term complications cost even more.”
The American Diabetes Association indicates a trend in employers placing pre-existing conditions on new workers who are diabetic in an effort to reduce company spending. In turn individuals are asking their primary healthcare provider for free samples or inquiring about help from pharmaceutical companies to help cover the cost of medication. Other patients are simply reducing the amount of medication they take.
For some patients regularly scheduled appointments are being cancelled due to lack of available funds. All of this is happening at a time when diabetes related emergencies are on the rise in American hospitals.
PhillyBurbs.com reports, “Federal law allows health plans to look back six months for a medical condition that was present before the start of coverage in a group health plan, if the person was without “credible” coverage 63 days or longer, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Insurers say employers also can request look-back reviews with new plans and employees.”
Because diabetes is tied to multiple chronic conditions such as heart disease, retinopathy and even stroke there is a rising alarm in health care practitioners who are seeing patients view their managed care as expendable in tough economic times. The end result may likely be a greater incidence of diabetes and a greater incidence of peripheral diseases that developed during a time when there was little the patient could do to pay for their own health care needs.
Add to this the cohabitation of depression with diabetes and you can also see that many diabetics may forego regular physical activity in favor of entertaining the stress the may feel at not being able to manage their disease effectively.
It is possible we will only see the full effects of this delicate house of cards after the economic crisis is over.
It is troubling to see cost saving measures go from turning out lights when you leave a room to leaving yourself unprotected from the complications of diabetes.
If you haven’t already done so you might speak with your doctor about what options may be available to keep your health managed by finding ways to reduce the overall costs.