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Diabetes Bites Newsletter

insurance interruptionAs people with diabetes, no matter what our struggles are in our search for management, we all share one common frustration: Health insurance.

Getting it, keeping it, affording it, struggles are many! Most people will, at some time or other, experience a tome without health insurance coverage. Changing jobs, aging out of parent plans, divorce, and changes in coverage laws are just a few very common causes of coverage gaps. in a 14 year  longitudinal study, Mary A.M. Rogers, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found that 23.4% of adults studied ( 168,612 adults with type 1 diabetes, Ages 19-64) experienced an interruption in their health insurance coverage. The impact of these times are profound, but sadly not surprising.

Persons with type 1 diabetes have an average 3.6% increase in A1C following an interruption in health insurance coverage. These adults were also 5 times more likely to have an acute care visit in the time following an interruption in coverage. 

These statistics represent patients turning to acute care resources for medication needs, as well as patients seeking care for emergency health needs correlated to their lack of coverage. 

This study shows a direct correlation between persons with diabetes not having health insurance, and severe negative repercussions on our health and safety.

This study also demonstrates a strain on public resources that is created when people with type 1 diabetes do not have insurance coverage. It is in the public best interest for municipalities at the local, state and federal level to ensure that persons with type 1 diabetes are able to maintain effective health insurance coverage. Mandated coverage of existing conditions has taken a small step toward this support. However, for most people still need assistance to maintain insurance coverage.

Major causes of coverage interruptions include:

  • costs
  • mandated therapy coverage (including insulins, technologies, and monitoring)
  • transport ability of coverage plans across age
  • career changes
  • geographic movement

Continued advocacy and change is clearly needed. 

For more information on this study visit: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/abs/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.0204?journalCode=hlthaff

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