Type 1 diabetes can have huge financial costs, where loved ones may require to seek diabetes financial help in Australia. According to recent research, Type 1 diabetes is most common in younger children, teenagers and young adults but can also occur at a later age in life. It is an autoimmune disorder of the pancreas where the body does not produce enough insulin and levels need to be balanced out by taking insulin injections, or insulin infusion through a pump. Those afflicted with the condition need to monitor their blood glucose level repeatedly throughout the day.
Understanding Diabetes type 1
In Australia type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 10% of all people affected by diabetes. This comes to an estimated 130,000 people out of nearly 1 million Australians living with the condition. Australia also ranks 7th highest in terms of prevalence of the disease and 6th highest in terms of incidence of type 1 diabetes affecting children aged from birth to 14 years of age. The incidence of type 1 diabetes is estimated to rise among children at an annual average rate of 2.8%. If current trends persist, the prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children is expected to go up by an alarming 10% in the next few years.
Moreover, since the disease does not have any known prevention or cure, its treatment and regulation of blood glucose levels is a lifelong regimen.
The cost of diabetes type 1
For many patients such regular monitoring of blood glucose levels can translate into a hefty amount as health care costs. Statistics suggest that the total annual health care cost for type 1 diabetes patients comes to about $570 million. Among these who have the condition, but without complications, the annual cost can be estimated individually at $3,468 while others who also have type 1 diabetes but with microvascular complications only , the per annum costs can total up to $8,122 per person.
The presence and degree of complications in every individual’s case will increase the costs involved so when type 1 diabetes patients suffer from macrovascular complications alone, the annual costs per person can go up to $12,105 but when there are both micro and macrovascular complications, the costs incurred can amount to a staggering $16,698.
These numbers reflect not only the cost of diabetes medication, but also expand to include several other factors. These can include expenses incurred to the Australian health system, personal expenses borne by the patients themselves, the cost of carers as well as primary and specialist care involved.
For type 1 diabetes patients, the bulk of their healthcare costs are spent on inpatient treatment and hospital stays. Out of the total direct health care costs, inpatient cost can come up to 47% of the expenses. The other big cost components are insulin and other medication expenses with insulin taking up 13.90% of the total costs and other medication coming to 17.70% of the total expenditure. Other areas of health care costs include diabetes consumables, allied health, specialist care, primary care and OHA- oral hypoglycaemic agents.
Type 1 diabetes patients in the workforce can also incur indirect costs in the form of annual lost wages due to sick leave or absenteeism.
Where to get diabetes financial help
Seeking financial help can assist to giving you or your loved one the best medical care and treatment. As Diabetes type 1 treatment is an ongoing and long term task, the cost of sustaining good health can be high. As such, Australians in need of financial help can look to a number of options available in Australia.
1. Government Support: Centerlink is the first stop for many individuals who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes. If the stage or severity of diabetes affects your ability to continue working or find employment. You may be eligible for a disability pension or a carer allowance if you are taking care of a loved one full time.
2. Personal fundraising: This option is great for individuals and their families looking to raise funds for a particular treatment that may not be subsidized in Australia or may not be offered in Australia. Many families look to online fundraising websites such as PeoplePledge to raise funds for medical expenses. This is a free website that offers Australians the ability to reach hundreds of their friends and families around the world to help a worthy cause.
3. Non-profit organisations: There are a few organisations in Australia that assist individuals who have diabetes. Diabetes Australia provides information, support and research on the latest treatments available for diabetes. Although there are no organizations currently providing financial assistance, individuals may still find this source helpful in receiving information in what is the best treatment option and costs for their needs.