Monday, November 7, 2016

National Diabetes Awareness Month: The Cost (of the Diagnosis)

**So, this post was originally published on September 7, 2009!
And I was worried about ObamaCare THEN!!
Our costs for our daughter's supplies have changed several times in the last few years,
as my husband's insurance has changed every. single. June since 2009!
Her insulin needs have DRAMATICALLY increased 

so we have to get more insulin every month as well.
So thankful that, at this moment in time, we have good insurance through my husband's job.
I do NOT take it for granted!  So. grateful!***

When learning that our Ashlyn was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, some genuinely concerned and caring people have asked us: "How much does it cost you?"
So I thought I would share with you some concrete numbers to help raise awareness about this long-term disease, it's management, and the cost involved. Let me just say at the get-go that I am so very thankful that my husband's job provides us with really terrific health insurance. You better believe that we're concerned with all the noise coming from Washington about this new health care reform. It truly frightens me to think that we might lose the excellent care we have available to our daughter and how that good care has helped her recover so well from when she was initially diagnosed, and that in the future if she has a life threatening emergency that care might not be available as quickly as she might need. With that being said, let's talk numbers. After some weird delays, we've finally received the final bill for Ashlyn's hospital stay back in February when she was initially diagnosed. She was admitted on February 11, and we were discharged on Friday night, February 13th. The total bill for those 3 days, 2 nights: $14,202.50. Thankfully, our health insurance covered the majority of that and we will owe just $3711.51. Not exactly pocket change for us, but never-the-less, better than the first amount.

We had to take a basic Diabetic 101 (education) class a couple weeks after that which cost $775.00. Again, insurance covered the majority of that, and we had only to pay $162. There was one other class we took in June to learn the ratios which will cost us less than $20, thanks to insurance again. Have I mentioned to you how grateful I am that my husband has a job and that his job offers insurance?

Ashlyn has to have insulin every day, 4 times a day, and this requires quite a bit of medical equipment. I remember sitting in the pediatrician's office when we first were diagnosed before we rushed off to the hospital, and our pediatrician saying that this is a "very equipment heavy" disease. It really is. At times, it seems ridiculous how much stuff you have to have with you AT ALL TIMES for the "just in case." When we were discharged, we were given an entire 8 x 10" sheet of paper full of prescriptions for what she needs. We started out getting everything in one month supplies until we could get it all figured out to get the 90-day supplies for everything. The 90-day supply requires a separate prescription, and has to be sent through the mail initially. Now that we're in the system, we can just refill her prescriptions through the website and have her supplies shipped automatically to us. The 90-day supply costs a little more at the outset, but in the long-run saves you money. Here's how everything breaks down for our family:

This is a picture of our 90-day supply of Lantus Insulin, Humalog Insulin, One Touch Ultra Test
Strips (for the glucose meter not pictured here), One Touch Ultrasoft Lancets (for pricking her finger), and the Ketostix (which you use to test her urine for ketones when she's sick or has
high blood sugar readings), and the syringes.
I asked our pharmacy (Kroger...might be different at other pharmacies) for the cash price (what we would pay out-of-pocket if we had no insurance) for each of the above items:

Lantus Insulin - $117.49 (we need one a month)
Humalog Insulin - $118.89 (one a month)
Test Strips - $215.98 (for two boxes which last a month)
BD Syringes - $38.99 (for one month's supply of 150)
Lancets - $12.99 (box of 100)
Ketostix - $14.99

Thankfully, we have insurance that covers every penny of all her supplies and we pay only a co-pay for the insulins. So our total out-of-pocket expense for Ashlyn's supplies is the $50 for two bottles of insulin.

With the mail order 90-day supply it's even cheaper. We received everything in the picture above and paid nothing but the $100 for 3-months worth of insulin for the two insulins. So instead of paying $25/month per insulin, we're only paying $16.66.

Just FYI: there are some other items you need to have around too that you get without a prescription:

The red container is for safely disposing of the syringes which is less than 3 bucks at Costco, and the rest of the things are less than $10 all together. The glucose meters (we have two: one for home and one for the take-along bag) were both given to us at the hospital.

Now this puppy does actually need a prescription because we use it to save Ashlyn's life. It's our "Glucagon Kit".
You have this on hand in case of severe low blood sugar which causes seizures. You have to give this to her to keep her alive until the ambulance gets there.
Out-of-pocket: $248.49 (shelf life of a year)
Our co-pay cost: $40.00

Again, we are so thankful to have the privilege of having good insurance. It does not get by us that other folks do not have insurance at all, and have to pay these prices or need lots of help
to get their supplies. We thank the Lord for this blessing in our life.

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