Diabetes: Don’t cut corners, get help


The costs of managing diabetes can take their toll. A year’s worth of routine care — medication, glucose test strips, syringes, and other supplies, as well as doctor appointments — can run about

$6,000. And that doesn’t include the costs for any complications.


However, cutting back on tests or treatments to save money may compromise your efforts to control your condition, according to one study. More than half of the people who were unsuccessful in managing their condition said they had put off going to a doctor, didn’t fill a prescription, or tried other cost-cutting measures.


Instead of skimping on care, get the most for your healthcare dollars. Check your health plan. Many insurance companies offer disease-management programs for people with diabetes so they can take control of their condition and reduce any health issues.


Many disease management programs offer 24/7access to a registered nurse. “Advice nurses” usually provide general tips on managing diabetes. Many have access to your medical records, so they can provide personalized recommendations.


Also, ask your pharmacist or health plan about lower cost glucose monitor and test strip combinations. Sometimes, an inexpensive monitor and more costly test strips can add up to higher costs than if you buy a more expensive monitor with less expensive test strips. Ask your doctor about whether she or he can suggest lower cost, equally effective medications to control your diabetes.