Navigating the world of health insurance is often a daunting and overwhelming task — especially combined with the demands of a chronic illness. For T1D patients and their families, selecting and managing appropriate insurance plans is even more essential to long-term welfare and safety. However, the complexity of coverage options often hinders this objective. To ease this burden, JDRF has developed a set of unique tools that simplify the language of insurance and provide important information on coverage choices. The objective is to streamline the process of selecting health insurance, thereby saving people living with T1D and their families valuable time and energy.
In JDRF’s brand new guide, several key areas are discussed for consideration. It begins with a simple glossary of terms patients may encounter throughout the process. From deductible to health savings account, the guide defines common phrases in simple language, providing a straightforward yet comprehensive base of knowledge. JDRF utilizes these terms to explain how to select the best health insurance plan for patients with T1D.
A toolkit reviews several factors that may affect a patient’s decision, depending on individual circumstances and preferences such as total cost, payment plans, specific treatments or services covered, coverage status of current doctors, and accessibility of appeals. Additional information is then provided to explain methods of lowering prescription and insulin costs, through various types of patient assistance programs — including a list of relevant organizations.
Also included is information on insurance appeals, denials, and exceptions, as well as instructions for obtaining prior authorizations. The guide examines common issues patients may experience regarding insulin, pumps, CGMs, and test strips, including the process of changing treatments. Finally, it discusses the best methods of working with employers and human resources departments, which may play valuable roles in patient coverage. As an additional resource, JDRF maintains a Healthcare and Insurance forum, where users can exchange advice and answer common questions.
We remain committed to helping our members lead healthier lives. To access the full Type 1 Diabetes Health Insurance guide, please visit: http://typeonenation.org/resources/insurance/.
Written by: Lorena Bergstrom