Diabetic and Out of Work?

Amy Tenderich
By Amy Tenderich Latest Reply 2009-04-23 12:39:33 -0500
Started 2009-04-22 16:12:31 -0500

Several patients share their stories and coping strategies here:


Anyone have other tips for getting / staying on COBRA? Or other ways to deal with the high costs of diabetes without coverage?

5 replies

kdroberts 2009-04-23 08:28:54 -0500 Report

I posted this on your blog but for some reason it's not showing up and when I try to re-post it says I can't because it's a duplicate.

"Something else to consider is if you have been covered by a policy that provides "creditable coverage" (group health insurance via an employer does) then if you have a break of 63 or more days in coverage any future insurance you get will almost certainly exclude diabetes related costs for 12 months. However, if you pick up insurance within that 63 days (COBRA counts for this) then you can credit the time you were insured under your previous plan towards the exclusion period of the new policy. This means that unless you have only been insured for under 12 months you should be able cover the exclusion period entirely and have diabetic costs covered from day 1. This is also something to take into consideration if you switch jobs voluntarily and insurance coverage doesn't kick in right away.

Something else that can help, although with diabetes the chance of this is slim for most and non-existent for a large number, is that "pre-existing condition" has an interesting definition. I forget what it is exactly but in general if you haven't received a diagnosis, treatment or professional advice on the condition in the previous 6 months, it doesn't count as a pre-existing condition. If you are really stuck, lucky and disciplined enough then it may be possible to dump all your treatment, not go to your doctor and essentially forget you have diabetes for 6 months whilst eating a very low carb and sensible diet as well as exercising a lot in the hope that you will be doing enough to keep your diabetes under control without actually treating it. Of course I wouldn't recommend it, but for a few people it may be a last resort that will mean once they do get insurance they will be covered from day 1.

The whole health system debate is really an impossible battle. I've used the US system and the UK public and private system (yes, for those who do not know the UK has a public system and a private one as well), I've worked in the UK private system and the US system and know a lot of people who work in the US system and in both UK systems. I have seen the good and bad in both and neither one would work in either country. There is no doubt that healthcare needs to be reformed here but spending years talking about it isn't really going to help. Small changes need to be made to see how they work and go from there."

Sarguillo 2009-04-23 12:03:05 -0500 Report

Wow, I dont think T1 could go 6 months without care but I know some T2's can stock up on their pills, eat very carefully and may be able to do a 6 month stint. Oh wow. This is different and much needed iformation. Im going to file it.

kdroberts 2009-04-23 12:39:33 -0500 Report

Yeah, with the pre-existing condition definition, type 1's are out of luck and realistically, so are a large number of type 2's.

silver.lily 2009-04-22 23:59:39 -0500 Report

I couldn't afford to even go on COBRA It was over $600 a month!!!
- I just got a TrueTrack monitor and strips.
normally a monitor is $80 to $100 and I got mine for under $30.
- Also the strips are only $50 per 100 instead of $100 for 100. So that is only half price.
- Even though it is still expensive it seems to me that there is someone out there "starting" to think of our needs