Insurance and Kids with Diabetes-Parents Pay the Price


By: Ben Eastman

Compared to families unaffected by diabetes, families with a child with type I diabetes have similar rates of insurance coverage, according to a recent study. But out-of-pocket medical expenses are 56 percent higher for families with a child with type I diabetes.

Approximately 17 percent of the families with a child with type I diabetes (compared to less than five percent of families unaffected by diabetes) had out-of-pocket expenses exceeding 10 percent of the family’s annual income. When viewed as a percentage of the annual household income, health care expenses were almost two times higher for families with a type I child.

Published in the April 1997 Diabetes Care, the study also found that the burden is heaviest for families with a child with diabetes earning less than $20,000 a year. These families averaged out-of-pocket expenses close to 10 percent of their annual income.

Approximately 92 percent of families making over $20,000 per year and those making under $10,000 had insurance coverage. But only 52 percent of children with diabetes born to families making between $10,000 to $19,999 have full-year coverage.

Just over eight percent of families affected by diabetes reported being refused coverage versus approximately two percent of families without diabetes.



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