American Diabetes Association a Proud Supporter of Cover the Uninsured Week
April 19, 2007
As the nation’s leading health non-profit organization supporting diabetes research, information, and advocacy, the American Diabetes Association will join various health associations, organizations, and supporters during “Cover the Uninsured Week” (April 23-29). Nearly 21 million American children and adults have diabetes, but many are uninsured and cannot access the supplies, medications, and education necessary to successfully manage the disease and prevent diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and lower-limb amputation. Throughout the year, ADA is committed to ensuring that people living with diabetes have access to affordable and adequate health care.
“Diabetes has become the greatest health crisis of the first quarter of the twenty-first century,” said Larry Deeb, MD, President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association. “With more and more Americans diagnosed with diabetes or being at increased risk for developing this disease, we need to ensure that proper health care is available to them. We are not meeting this need, and if we continue to ignore this issue, we will be setting up our health care system for failure.”
Along with advocating at the state and federal level for policies that protect and expand diabetes health coverage, ADA helps individuals with diabetes who do not have health insurance. Through ADA’s National Call Center, trained ADA representatives respond to, on average, 600 calls a month involving insurance-related issues, many coming from individuals without insurance. In response, ADA is able to direct callers to resources and programs that may provide access to diabetes management tools and resources.
Recently, an ADA Call Center representative took a call from a woman who has type 2 diabetes and lives in New York State. With her voice cracking, she said, “I’ve lost my job. I have no insurance. I haven’t been able to test my blood sugar for a week, and I don’t know how I will pay for my insulin this month.”
This is an example of the types of calls that the ADA National Call Center receives on a regular basis. In this instance, the National Call Center representative was able to provide her with information about community clinics in her area, the State Commissioner’s list, and phone numbers for manufacturer assistance programs for a blood glucose monitor, test strips, and lancets. These are all options for people who do not have health insurance and cannot pay for the necessary supplies to manage the disease. Additionally, this woman was sent materials to assist her in her search for affordable insurance. Immediately following the call, the woman made contact with a local clinic.
“The Association’s National Call Center is a powerful example of how ADA is committed to helping individuals with diabetes access the health care that is critical to their ability to stay healthy,” Deeb said. “This resource has literally served as a lifeline for thousands of Americans who call ADA every day.”
Cover the Uninsured Week brings together a broad coalition to urge national leaders to find solutions for the more than the 46 million Americans who live without health insurance. For more information about Cover the Uninsured Week, please visit www.covertheuninsured.org.
Diabetes is one of this nation’s most prevalent, debilitating, deadly and costly diseases. While 20.8 million Americans live with diabetes today, it is estimated that if current trends continue, one in three Americans born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime. One in 10 U.S. health care dollars is spent on diabetes and its complications.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Since 1940, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.