Insurance and Financial Concerns for A Type 1 Diabetic Mother
I've always known in the back of my mind that diabetes limited choices for me. I couldn't join certain branches of the military or take off to some remote island and live off the land, for example. Those ideas weren't things I really wanted to do anyway, thus I didn't feel too badly that my diabetes would prevent me from realizing them. The biggest dream for my life, having children, was something I could accomplish, even with diabetes.
I've been thinking a lot lately about my values and priorities. Having my first child obviously rearranged my priorities significantly and has made me reconsider how I spend my time. However, diabetes is a consideration whenever I imagine different scenarios.
While we love living in San Diego, frankly, it's a pretty expensive city and perhaps not the best choice for us long term. In order to afford a home here, I'd have to work, and be away from my family, far more than I'm willing. However, there are some important perks to living here, most importantly the amazing health care. I'm so pleased to experience my high-risk, diabetic pregnancies in such a competent medical environment.
Also, my husband's job provides excellent health insurance. Before we got married, I was briefly uninsured while I pursued my Masters degree. We joked that I was marrying him for the medical insurance coverage! But seriously, it's been wonderful. When I switched from multiple daily injections to using an insulin pump, I actually saved money; since I stopped using Lantus and syringes plus there were few additional costs with the pump.
When I look forward a few years and consider that we may want to relocate, one of the nagging issues is health insurance. We can't simply move, look for a job, and hope that adequate health insurance will accompany any new positions. Quality health insurance is so important when you have a chronic medical condition. First of all, it helps tremendously with the monthly cash flow when prescriptions are adequately covered.
Co-pays of $15 or $20 dollars per medication are much easier to manage than paying full price for expensive diabetes drugs and supplies. Even more importantly, when you have a chronic disease there is always the threat of extended hospitalization. I experienced one bout of diabetic ketoacidosis, several years ago. If such an event occurred again, I'd owe thousands of dollars without proper health insurance.
I won't get into the issue of health insurance and the state of medical care in this country, that's an entirely different topic and a controversial one at that. The fact is quality and affordable health care is extremely valuable when you're living with diabetes. Therefore, it's something that will factor into any decision Dennis and I make for our future.
As opposed to far fetched dreams like living on a remote island, when I consider something simple like relocating to another state that seems like something I should be able to do without too much concern for my diabetes. But, actually, since employee sponsored health insurance is so important to our family budget and my overall health, changing jobs does involve a lot of consideration.