Taking the Bitter with the Sweet: The Cost of Being a Diabetic

a nurse checking the blood sugarDiabetes is a chronic disease considered to be a leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million Americans have diabetes.

Suffering from this condition isn’t cheap. Research released in 2017 by the American Diabetes Association revealed that the economic cost of diagnosed diabetes has risen to $327 billion. This represents a 26 percent increase from 2012 when it was last recorded.

With 44 million Americans uninsured, the rising medical costs place a heavier burden on diabetic patients. The CDC explained that people with diabetes have 2.3 times higher medical expenditure than those who didn’t.

Cost Breakdown

Of the $327 billion, $237 billion or 57 percent of this is spent on people’s direct medical cost. The biggest contributor to this is the cost of prescription medications, which amounts to $71.2 billion.

Other costs include hospital inpatient care ($69.7 billion), diabetes supplies ($34.6 billion), physician visits ($30 billion), and nursing facility stays ($6.4 billion).

Additionally, $90 billion worth of costs indirectly come from being a diabetic. A staggering $37.5 billion of the indirect costs come from the inability to work because of disease-related disability. Reduced productivity while at work because of diabetes also costs the economy $26.9 billion.

Individually, the average lifetime cost of treating type 2 diabetes ranges from $84,000 to $124,700 for men and $85,200 to $130,800 for women.

Available Assistance

Chronic diseases like diabetes diminish the quality of life of the people suffering from it. This is why organizations like The Rx Solution have programs that assist patients in finding medications like Victoza. These programs are important especially for uninsured and underinsured people suffering from diabetes.

Managing the cost of health care adds burden to people who are already ill. Aside from that, these numbers show how substantial its costs affect the economy.