Maria* won’t get paid for another week and money is tight. She needs her insulin to treat her diabetes, but the electricity bill is due and the family needs groceries. She decides to go without her insulin until she has enough money. Weeks pass and Maria ends up in the hospital with complications from her diabetes. Her doctor is concerned with managing her diabetes, but Maria can only focus on one thing: How will she pay for the hospital bill?
Financial insecurity affects millions of Americans. Aside from stress and anxiety, there can be harmful physical health outcomes as well.
For instance, it’s estimated that 1 out of 3 Americans have delayed filling a prescription because of cost (33.5%).1 Those affected by chronic conditions, such as diabetes, may be disproportionately impacted by costs. One reason for this is that the cost of insulin has skyrocketed, with prices rising over 69% in the past five years.2 This is cause for concern because all type 1 diabetics and some type 2 diabetics rely on insulin to control their blood sugar and prevent life-threatening complications.3
When patients have difficulty accessing their medicine, it can turn into a vicious cycle that creates mounting bills and complex medical problems.