Cost Associated with Living with Diabetes

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WESLACO – The cost of living with diabetes is affecting so many Rio Grande Valley patients. And that number keeps rising.

Gary Due says he was diagnosed with diabetes in the year 2000. He says having insurance is key if you're diagnosed with the disease.

"It has to be drug insurance,” he says. “That's not your hospital care insurance, that's your drug insurance that will keep that down.”

He says even then, insurance doesn't cover all of the costs.

"Your doctor appointments, your blood tests, your everyday testing and your everyday supplies,” he explains.

Due keeps track of everything he spends that goes towards his condition.

"Last year I spent around $5,000," he says.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned that number is actually less than what the average person pays.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes spend on average $7,900 a year on diabetes alone.

That’s like spending $21 a day. If you save that much for one month, you'll have roughly $650.

But the costs means much more to your health.

"Diabetes affects the body in so many other ways and that raises your cost with diabetes.

"You end up having problems with your arteries. They have to go in and put a stent in or it affects the heart. It also affects the feet and causes numbing in the feet, which is another problem," he says.

Due says these add to the overall annual cost.

"It's probably in the $10,000 to $12,000 that I pay alone with my insurance companies," he says.

The American Diabetes Association tells us the average total medical expense for diabetes and other health problems it can cause is around $13,700. 

Although this isn't money Due can spend freely, he says it gives him the ability to live freely. 

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