Diabetes is expensive!

Diabetes can sure be expensive. Insurance can help take away some of the financial burden, but sometimes the things we want, or even need, are not covered by insurance. With that in mind, the DSMA Blog Carnival topic is:

I wish my insurance company paid for _________because ______________.

Health insurance is a valuable benefit to have and I can’t imagine how we’d pay for my dumb diabetes if we didn’t have it! For the most part, our insurance covers the needs and some of the wants.

Liquid gold

As shallow as it may sound, I wish my insurance company paid for all of my insulin because even though they cover some, it’s still crazy expensive and I get heartburn when I see the units left in my OmniPod that I have to throw out on pod change day.

Our prescription coverage requires that all “maintenance drugs” be obtained through their mail order pharmacy. This has turned me into a medical hoarder because mail order pharmacies don’t care WHEN you need the medication, just that you pay for it. I’d prefer to have my back up insulin in pens for more accurate and easy use, but when the pens that I’m holding in reserve run out, I don’t think I can justify paying for a second insulin prescription. (Ok pharma companies, make a refillable insulin pen for people like me please).

The online portal for our insurance has this “handy tool” that lets you put in the name of your medication and they’ll search for ways to save on it (I assume that means looking for a generic or a comparable product you can ask your doctor about). Since it had some crazy high percentage of users that it helped save money for, I entered “Novolog” into the box. As I should have expected, it gave me a message stating that there was no way to save me money on that medication. We actually don’t run Brad’s only medication through insurance because it’s actually cheaper to pay it independently through the regular pharmacy (and get it when he needs it).

Testing supplies

Glucose meters are cheap and some are actually free. It’s the strips that cost an arm and a leg! They’re like cheap printers, you don’t pay much for the device but you shell out big bucks to replace the ink. From my limited experience, a month supply of test strips can cost hundreds of dollars. My medical insurance recently decided that it didn’t want to continue covering strips, lancets and syringes. But even after a month of frustrating phone calls and no resolution, our medical supply company still shows everything covered as it was before so I’ll be holding my breath when my next three month supply comes in June.

Special food

As a grown up, I wouldn’t buy juice boxes unless I knew there would be a small child visiting. As a diabetic, I buy them in bulk. I also keep around low carb snacks that I never would have purchased pre-pancreas failure. Brad and I no longer share snacks, drinks and even some foods because of our vastly different food needs.

I’ve heard that specialty foods for people with an allergy are tax deductible in some manner, but who knows about low carb foods and how exactly do you explain that to the IRS?


This is my fun one. I think that I’d be over the moon if my insurance company would give me a bag allowance. I have all sorts of diabetes baggage to haul around with me now and it meant up-sizing my purse and acquiring a meter pouch. Even though meters come with little pouches, there’s not enough room in them to keeps my alcohol wipes, insulin vial and glucose tabs too!


This actually has me curious as to how men with diabetes transport all their gear around.

This post is my May entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/may-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

10 thoughts on “Diabetes is expensive!

  1. I have type 2 so I don’t have a lot of the issues with supplies but I firmly believe that insurance should have to cover ALL of the needs of diabetics. Off soapbox now.

    • They don’t have the perspective, chances are the decision-makers don’t have high-maintenance medical conditions. I wish they’d realize that paying for the management stuff, decreases the likelihood of having to pay for treatment for complications. (Here’s your soapbox back)

  2. What a great post!!! I especially love your idea that insurance should cover our bags and cute meter cases – I could not agree more! It’s hard to find an affordable and stylish bag that is also big enough to hold all of my d-crap!

  3. Love the little bag!! Perfect size, too. My last job had perfect insurance. It covered ALL of my diabetic supplies. I was spoiled for those 7 1/2 years. It was a good run. Now I’m back to paying a deductible and paying out the wazoo…. because of course you have to pay the highest premiums for the strips and insulin – no generics available. I’ve always been frustrated because it’s not like we’ve chosen any of this … :/ Insurance companies shouldn’t make it any worse on us than it already is? IMO Great post!!

  4. Bag allowance!!! Love it. What an awesome idea. My husband can tease me all he wants about my big purses, but they’re a necessity when you live with diabetes plus other chronic health conditions.

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