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The Healthy Living Magazine

Insurance Gaps Are Dangerous for People With Type 1 Diabetes

By Miriam E. Tucker , ,

Emma Mitchell/Noun Project

Gaps in private health insurance coverage pose dangers for people with type 1 diabetes. In a study of 168,612 working-age adults with type 1 who were enrolled during 2001–2015 in a national commercial health plan, 1 in 4 experienced an interruption in their coverage. On average, each interruption was associated with a nearly 4 percent increase in A1C, a measure of glucose control over eight to 10 weeks. (For instance, an A1C of 7 percent may have risen to 7.28 percent.) And each interruption raised the chance of urgent or acute care medical visits fivefold. For people who lose their jobs, a program called COBRA can be used to extend health care coverage, but it can be costly. Lower-cost insulin can be purchased over the counter, although dosing may differ from the insulin you currently use. Insulin manufacturers also offer financial assistance programs to help you afford your meds.
Source: Health Affairs, published online July 9, 2018