Disclaimer: This article does not constitute medical advice. It’s for informational purposes only. Always discuss anything health-related with qualified medical personnel especially if you are diabetic.
Living with diabetes is taxing not only on your health but also on your budget. Diabetes is a condition that needs lifelong management which means lifelong costs associated with it. Whether you’ve just recently been diagnosed with diabetes or you’ve been living with the condition for some time, it will behoove you to think about the financial side of diabetes. Here’s what to consider.
When planning your finances around your diabetes ongoing treatment is likely to take the largest chunk of your budget. According to the American Diabetes Association, “the average cost of health care for a person with diabetes is $13,741 a year” which is double what a non-diabetic person pays.
Setting aside $1200 each month is a hefty burden, but you do have options other than paying out of your pocket. You could search for a health insurance plan tailored to people with diabetes. Some Medicare plans also cover diabetes-related expenses—you can find more about it in Medicare’s guide to diabetes which you can locate by clicking here. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney disease also has a helpful resource with information about financial help for diabetes care accessible here.
It’s unfortunate but true—diabetics run a higher chance of premature death than non-diabetics. The condition itself along with various complications puts great stress on the body. What’s more, we tend to live unhealthy lives—stress, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise have become a global phenomenon which is ironic given that now we have more possibilities than ever to stay healthy.
But living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t guarantee that diabetes won’t cause an unfortunate end. Speaking of our own mortality is a hard subject for many, it’s still something that needs to be addressed. The purpose of life insurance isn’t to make you feel anxious over your life coming to an end one day but to provide some security for your family after your passing.
Granted, diabetics may find it harder to get life insurance to being considered a high-risk by insurance companies. But it’s far from impossible especially since there are companies that specialize in high-risk life insurance. With the help of experienced professionals, however, you run a higher chance of getting approved even for including Type 1 diabetic life insurance—a category known for a high refusal rate.
Is your 401k in order? Do you have alternative retirement saving plans? Did you considered your diabetes when you decided how much to contribute towards “future you”? How about health insurance? There are many questions that you need to answer to build a retirement plan that will sustain you and your family if needed.
Currently, Medicare’s Part D and Advantage plans cover some diabetes-related costs, but with the healthcare plan’s uncertain future you might consider a back-up option through a private insurer.
Also, keep in mind that because of your diabetes you are at a higher risk of developing other chronic illnesses. If so happens, you’ll need treatments in addition to the one for your diabetes, which will further put a load on your budget as a retiree so account for that, too.
Having diabetes increases your chances of developing comorbid illnesses which sometimes can result in permanent disability. This might make it especially hard to do any work, leaving you and your family in a tough position.
Some ways to secure a brighter future in the event that you can no longer actively work is to think about investments and businesses that generate passive income—i. e., ventures that require little to no oversight from you to generate money.
There is an abundance of options in both categories, and you no longer need to splurge on an initial investment to get something started. Here’s a post we’ve published on the importance of learning how to invest.
Diabetes or not, planning for the worst case scenario can save your family a lot of trouble should you pass away. In the end, we will all do so it’s better to get your affairs in order on time which includes estate planning—in other words, who will be in charge of what after your passing.
Diabetes Forecast identifies five key elements of estate planning:
- Will—who will get what after your passing.
- Durable Power of Attorney—who’ll take over healthcare and everyday affairs in case you are no longer in capacity to do it—for example if you fall into a comma.
- Medical Directive—what medical personnel should do in life-threatening situations, e.g. should they try to resuscitate you in case your heart stops.
- HIPAA Release Form—who’ll get access to your medical information after your passing.
- Revocable Living Trust—appoints a trustee to manage your assets in case you are not in a condition to do it yourself.
These are the four most important financial aspects of living with diabetes. Thinking about current treatment but also planning for the future will save you some headache down the road. While you can’t predict with certainty what will happen in the future when it comes to financial security it’s like they say: “better have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”