If you or a family member has diabetes or a diabetes-related illness, the healthcare costs can be expensive and daunting. The American Diabetes Association reports that people with diabetes spend an average of $13, 243 a year on healthcare expenses. Below is a list of government funded resources that will help you shoulder the financial burden of diabetes treatment and management. 

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • State Children's Health Insurance Program
  • Health Insurance
  • Health Care Services

Medicare now includes coverage for glucose monitors, test strips, and lancets as well as medical nutrition therapy services for people with diabetes or kidney disease when referred by a doctor. Diabetes self-management training, therapeutic shoes,  and glaucoma screening are also covered. To find out if you are eligible for Medicare, contact your local Social Security Office or call the Medicare Hotline at 1 (800) MEDICARE. 

Medicaid is a state government sponsored health assistance program for individuals that meet specific income criteria. Medicaid can help with the costs of your diabetes care, testing supplies, and other resources. Talk to your local social worker or contact your local department of human services for more information about whether you qualify for Medicaid. The government pages of your local or state phonebook will have the phone numbers for you to call. 

State Children's Health Insurance Program. If you have a child with diabetes and your child is uninsured, the government has taken steps to correct this problem. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established the State Children's Health Insurance program in order to bridge the gap between families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but earn too little to provide private health insurance. Call 1-800-KIDSNOW to get information about this program. 

Health Insurance. Insurance companies can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you are trying to apply for coverage and have a preexisting condition like diabetes. Sometimes a preexisting condition can preclude you from being covered. In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability Act, which limits insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions. In addition, many states are requiring insurance companies to cover diabetes supplies and education. Organizations like the American Diabetes Association are working every day for more support and advocacy at the government level. 

Health Care Services. Regardless of your health insurance status or ability to pay the Bureau of Primary Healthcare, a Health Resources and Services Administration program, offers healthcare. To find a center near you, call 1-800-400-2742. In addition to this, local governments may have public health department that can help people who need healthcare. Contact your local county or city government's health and human services office for more information by looking in the government pages of your phone book. 

Diabetes can take its toll in many ways the least of which is financially. Rest assured there are advocates working on your behalf to improve healthcare coverage and financial assistance to insure the proper care be made available to everyone in need. Championing these efforts is the American Diabetes Association and its continued interaction with local, state and federal governments. Help is out there, and more is on the way.