Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Cost of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes can rob you very quickly.

Not only can it rob you of peace and freedom, it can literally rob money right out of your wallet.

For a 90 Day supply of the insulin and other necessary supplies Michael uses, this is the breakdown:

Glucagon:  (3 kits)    $45.00
Pen needles: (6 boxes)     $135.00
Lantus (slow-acting insulin)    $135.00
Humalog (fast-acting insulin)   $135.00
Ketone strips (for urinalysis) (300)  $51.84
Lancets (to check blood sugar)   $64.78
Testing strips for blood-sugar meter (918 strips) $135.00  (thanks to an awesome social worker who worked hand in hand with our insurance company to make sure we could get the strips at that cost.  Usually, they are $50 for 50 strips).

That is a total of $701.62 for a 90 day supply.  Now, true, some months I might not fill the glucagon  because we have not had to use one of these kits yet (Thank you, Jesus!).  And some months, I might not need six boxes of pen needles and I might just refill 2 boxes, or I might not need ketone strips because we have some left to use from prior months.  But the insulin, the lancets, the testing strips are all required at that monetary level each and every month.

The items above are required to keep Michael alive.  We choose to use some elective equipment to help us better manage his diabetes.  This piece of equipment (called a Continuous Glucose Monitor, aka CGM), along with it's necessary accessories (transmitter, receiver, inserters), cost us $542.00 to start-up, and it costs us $114.00 each month for the supplies. 

I've had a few people come up to me and tell me that it would be nice if insurance helped out with the cost.  The hard thing is, these costs and calculations are after insurance has paid 70%.  Seventy percent. That's crazy that diabetes management takes so much money!  And these are just the figures that we pay based on the insurance we have.  Others might pay more or a little less depending on what type of insurance they have. 

We have a fantastic social worker at Children's Hospital who really worked hard to help us get Michael the number of testing strips he requires as a two year old.  She also worked with our insurance company to make sure we wouldn't have to pay hundreds of dollars for testing strips alone.

These fees and costs and copays are intertwined into our budget.  It does make saving money for paying off vehicles and saving for a new home harder.  It's going to take longer to achieve some of the financial goals we have because we pay for these diabetes supplies and they are very expensive.  But, this is a real disease.  It's a real life changer.  It's not something we can avoid or take lightly.  We are blessed to be able to afford diabetes care. 

This is just one piece of diabetes care. 

I'll write another post in the future of the extra stuff we do that also falls into the category of "the cost of type 1 diabetes" (ie, prize baskets for site changes, etc).

Until Next Time,

Much Love, Reba

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