Health Insurance & Diabetes

I don’t have a blog so that I can say what my political affiliation is and/or make a stand on a certain issue. What my purpose of writing a weekly entry is to write from my personal experience of living with diabetes.

Being a person with a pre-existing medical condition (type-1 diabetes), it’s currently impossible to go out and buy my own health insurance through an insurer. Those companies can currently discriminate who they bring on as policyholders.

As so many of you know I decided to leave my corporate job over a year and a half ago to pursue my dream of doing diabetes advocacy work full time. I’ve been able to have health insurance through my former employer through COBRA. Just the premium costs me almost $600/month. It’s very expensive but I’ve been blessed to still be covered by good insurance. Well that all comes to an end after April (todays my last day). I’ve been looking at my different options and it seems that I only have two (unless you can think of some other ones for me)…

1. Find a man that has a steady job & great health insurance and convince him to marry me ASAP! 🙂 (though my Mom informed me this is fraudulent activity!)

OR

2. Put the work that I’ve been doing to the side and find a full-time position that would offer me full healthcare benefits.cost ofdiabetes

As a person living with type-1 diabetes its an incredibly expensive disease because of constantly needing to pay for your daily supplies. I absolutely could not afford the money out of pocket if I didn’t have insurance…and I’m just talking about the basic, life support supplies. Insulin is NOT a cure for diabetes….it’s simply my life support. Without it, I can’t live.

It’s hard for me to think that we live in 2013 in the USA and it’s this difficult to even get a basic plan. To me this is a catastrophic issue that I’m glad our government has been having a conversation about it. Until a national issue hits you so personally, we sometimes feel disconnected from political decisions. I just hope that a solution can come sooner…rather then later.

Wish me luck in my search for basic health insurance. Let me know what your experiences have been with health insurance and having a chronic condition.

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Call to Congress 2013

Last month I was chosen to represent Minnesota at the 2013 American Diabetes Association (ADA) Call to Congress event. Advocacy is confsomething that is near and dear to my heart. I first attended this event when I was 16 years old and had just been chosen as National Youth Advocate for the ADA. Over 200 diabetes advocates flew in to Washington, DC from around the country to be trained on what ellingsonissues are imperative on Capitol Hill for people living with diabetes. On the 2nd day of the conference we stormed the hill and met with our US Senators & Congressmen. Our Members of Congress want to hear from their constituents about issues that are important to them (we do vote if they’re in or out). My goal is to try to put a face and a name with the cause. The statistics can get overwhelming for anyone. I want them to know how diabetes has personally affected my life and my brothers.

It was a successful 3-day conference! It was fun to see fellow friends and past National Youth Advocates that I’ve served with…it was

Maddie Dodge & I - past National Youth Advocates

Maddie Dodge & I – past National Youth Advocates

kind of like Homecoming!

Jim McGowan put together a wonderful video where he wrote and performed the songs on it about stopping diabetes. Check it out…song and montage of advocate visits to Capitol Hill and their inspirations to STOP DIABETES…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYY75Yr5qgw

ACTION STEP: Become an advocate! It’s quick & easy. Click here to be brought to the American Diabetes Association’s page on where you can sign up to be an advocate (you will see a red sign-up box on the right hand side of the page). They will email you when there is an important diabetes piece of legislation that is going to be voted on. They make it quick and easy for you to send a form letter to your Member of Congress. I promise you it takes 3 minutes to do and you only get 1 e-mail from them every other month (you will not be spammed). Will you join with me in helping STOP DIABETES!?!

Join me in STOPPING DIABETES!

Join me in STOPPING DIABETES!

Review: Dexom G4 Platinum

I’m like a little girl on Christmas morning when I receive a package in the mail that contains new diabetes technology (I’m a diabetes dork, I dexcomknow). This last week I was sent a Dexcom’s BRIGHT PINK BRAND NEW G4 Platinum Continuous Glucose Monitor. I was encouraged to give it a try by another woman with type-1 diabetes who’s a user. A medical professional can make any recommendation they would like for me to use a certain product, but I rarely take their advice, instead I always ask other people with diabetes. They’re the ones who live with diabetes every minute of every day. Has this been your experience?

Disposable inserter device

Disposable inserter device

I have to say so far I’ve been incredibly impressed by it. The sensor is quite accurate. Even better, the inserter is easy to use and once it’s in under your skin you cannot feel it at all (I’ve gotten discomfort from other companies products in the past). The other thing I like about it is that you can wear the sensor for 7 days. Two problems that I’ve had with it…

1. The adhesive for the sensor is not that sticky. I went to hot yoga on my 1st day of wearing it and it all came right off! I now have used a skin adhesive as well as putting two sheets of tagaderm over it.

2. The other negative is having to carry around a second device. It hasn’t been as bad as I’ve thought because I’m used to carrying my iPhone and Medtronic insulin pump…I guess it’s just another thing to throw in my rapidly expanding purse! dexcom2

As someone who’s struggled with not always being able to feel low blood sugars…this type of technology has been a Godsend. I have such a fear of not waking up in the morning. The last two nights it’s waken me up (very annoying alert, which I guess is good!) with a low blood sugar alert. The truth is because of these hypoglycemic unawareness situations…a continous glucose monitor (CGM) system is a perfect fit for me and my diabetes care.

Do you wear a CGM? If so, which one? What have your experiences been?