DIABETES AND HEALTH CARE INSURANCE

Once a person has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is largely a matter of taking medications at proper times. But a major problem faced by people suffering today from diabetes today is the lack of access to necessary items like meters, strips and insulin. This can pose a big problem because without insurance, the suffering person cannot afford treatment for diabetes. Every month the treatment costs runs into hundreds of dollars in medication alone. The treatment costs if any are an additional burden. This runs into thousands of dollars each year and a person cannot afford this without insurance.

People with diabetes can avail of insurance with the help of various governmental and non governmental programs depending which describes them best:

- State Health Insurance

Every state has its own insurance plan. The options and plans may vary across each state. But, in this case, a few laws such as COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) have been developed by the federal government and are available in each state.

COBRA was implemented to protect the interests of the employees who left their company and would be without any insurance coverage for the transition period to another job. It ensures that the person would continue on the ex-employee's insurance plan for a period of 18-36 months after leaving the job.

HIPAA on the other hand is for a certain group of people who have used up their COBRA or any other similar plan and do not have any health insurance. These people are guaranteed an offer of at least two health insurance policies.

- Insurance with people who are 65 and over

-- Medicare - A Government program for people who are over 65 and/or are disabled. People should call their local Social Security office to get more details. It includes coverage for glucose monitors, test strips etc

-- Medicaid - If the income of the patient is low and he is over 65 years of age and/or disabled. A state monitored program, varies from state to state provides services like doctor visits, long term care services like nursing home care etc. A patient should contact his local Medicaid office to get more details.

-- Other services like tax credit available to workers who have lost their jobs, assistance in getting prescriptions and Medigap policies which can be availed from private health insurance companies and provide certain services which may not be covered in Medicare or Medicaid/

- Insurance provided by Employer

-- If you are working under an employer, that employer can also provide health insurance which would mean you don't have to search for health insurance quotes. Usually the persons applicable are under the age of 65. These plans are extremely common since they are extensive and cover almost everything from drug benefits to reduced costs of treatment. Has the maximum number of consumer protections offered by the law. But again, employers provide these benefits on their own discretion and are not compelled by any law to do so.

-- For people not under the group insurance plan, there is the option of individual health insurance policies. But for people with serious ailments like diabetes, this option seldom works. In most states, the insurers chose the people based on their health status, age, gender etc.

There are many different options available for certain cases like veteran/military personnel, children and the unemployed. The main issue with all of these are availability and affordability. There are still countless loopholes that a person can fall into. Mostly people are not fully aware of their options and continue to suffer. In the U.S alone, thousands of people who are not insured are not able to recieve treatment and there are countless cases of lower limb amputations and kidney failures. All this can be prevented if the people, at a young age look at all their options carefully and make sure that they will remain covered under insurance in the event that they get diagnosed with diabetes.