New Report on Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America
Secretary Sebelius says:
As the nation marks American Diabetes Month, HHS Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius released a new report today, Preventing and Treating
Diabetes: Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America. The report
comes one day after Sebelius toured the East Manatee Family
Healthcare Center in Bradenton, Fla. At the center, Secretary
Sebelius held a roundtable discussion with Floridians with diabetes.
"Americans with diabetes are suffering in our current health care
system," Secretary Sebelius said. "Health insurance reform will help
ensure these Americans can get the prescription drugs and supplies
they need and bring down premiums so all Americans can have high-
quality, affordable health insurance."
As affordable treatment remains inaccessible to many Americans
suffering from chronic diseases, people with diabetes shoulder some
of the nation4s highest health care expenses. The report notes:
* One in six individuals with diabetes report avoiding or
delaying needed medical care because of cost. Annual health care
expenses for a diabetic topped $11,477 in 2007. A box of 100 test
strips for blood sugar monitors can cost up to $60 while the price of
a vial of insulin can range from $30 to $70, mainly because generic
brands are not manufactured in the United States.
* A study showed that 80 percent of people with diabetes went
uninsured after having lost coverage due to health insurance
transitions triggered by job change or layoff, a move, divorce,
graduation from college, or a change in income or health status.
* If all states improved diabetes control to the level of the top
four best performing states, at least 39,000 fewer patients would
have been admitted for uncontrolled diabetes in 2004, potentially
saving $216.7 million.
* Fourteen percent of American Indians, 12 percent of African
Americans, and 10 percent of Hispanics have type 2 diabetes. These
rates of diabetes are greater than in the non-Hispanic White
population, which has a rate of only 7 percent.
The report outlines the ways health insurance reform will lower costs
and improve access to quality health care services for Americans with
diabetes. Health insurance reform will lower health care costs for
people with diabetes by capping annual out-of-pocket expenses,
eliminate discrimination for pre-existing conditions and health
status, create a health insurance exchange so families can shop for
suitable plans, provide coverage for preventive screenings, and
reduce health disparities so that all Americans can have access to
quality, affordable health care.
To learn more about how health insurance reform will help Americans
with diabetes and view the complete report, visit
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