Diabetes is a chronic disease that is largely incurable. It can cause many acute complications and unpleasant symptoms which require medications and costly treatments. Many people have been lucky enough to already be covered by health insurance prior to developing the condition and can therefore be protected from the high costs of medical care. Unfortunately, diabetes is seen as a huge liability by insurance companies, and having such a pre-existing condition can prevent applicants from getting any decent health coverage.
Why is Diabetic Health Insurance So Important?
For diabetics, having a good health insurance plan is vital to avoid financial ruin. There are many supplies, tests and procedures necessary to the treatment of diabetes. Some of these include daily insulin shots, testing strips and meters, and regular checkups. Without these, the disease could lead to serious complications such as heart disease, strokes, blindness and vital organ failures. The skyrocketing costs of medical care make it very difficult for diabetes patients to remain financially stable without a suitable health insurance coverage plan.
Diabetes and Medical Underwriting
Most health insurance companies use medical underwriting to determine whether or not to provide coverage to applicants, based on such factors as the applicant’s current health, medical history, age and other specifics. Diabetes as a pre-existing condition is usually definite grounds for refusal of coverage. Luckily, there some alternate options. With the exception of Ohio, Alabama, North Dakota and Idaho, there are laws in the United States which mandate the proper education, supplies and coverage for diabetics in state-related programs.
Medicare and Diabetics
Over 40 million people in America have found that Medicare, a national senior health program, helps to offset the costs of diabetes-related medical care. However, there are some regulations for eligibility. For example, Medicare is only available to people above the age of 65, ruling out this option for diabetic youths. The program does not provide insulin, syringes or oral medication for most seniors, though they are required to offer diabetes education, blood sugar monitors and insulin pumps, among other important items and services.
Increasing the Chances of Insurance for Diabetics
Besides making every effort to stay healthy there are several things that a diabetic applicant could do to increase the chances of getting a health insurance policy. For example, enrolling in a group insurance plan offered by an employer can be beneficial as they cannot refuse to cover an applicant with a pre-existing condition. In the case of job loss, look into the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, which allows people to temporarily retain insurance privileges even with pre-existing conditions.
Since diabetes is typically incurable it is fair to assume that a diabetic patient will deal with the disease for the remainder of their life, taking medications and undergoing hospital procedures. The expenses incurred can cause the average person to go deeply into debt. However, even though most typical insurance companies will deem a diabetic uninsurable, programs such as COBRA, Medicare and short-term health insurance policies exist to ensure that no one has to go without proper medical insurance coverage.