Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that at the end of 2007, approximately 1,279,600 Texans were known to have diabetes and the number of diabetics has continued to increase. With a greater need for health care, people with diabetes typically have to pay more for health insurance for Texas, but some insurance companies have more lenient medical underwriting standards than others. Medical underwriting estimates how much health care is likely to cost when you apply for health insurance. Premiums are based on those estimates.
One way to cut the cost of health care is to manage diabetes with diet and exercise. That can reduce your out-of-pocket costs for health care not covered with insurance. Even diabetes has now been reversed with dietary changes. In this case, reversed means that the person who had diabetes in the past could see a doctor now and the doctor would not know diabetes had ever been a problem. That not only means a big reduction in out-of-pockets health care costs, but may also help to lower premiums since no services related to diabetes are needed.
The Texas Diabetes Council has plans to help Texans prevent and control diabetes this year. They are endorsing a comprehensive approach that includes information dissemination, seminars, promotion of lifestyle changes, and other health policy interventions to reduce the economic and health burden of diabetes in Texas. Managing diabetes could also help more uninsured people get TX health insurance coverage.
What Texas Health Insurance Options Are Available If You Have Diabetes?
By 2014, when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect, people with diabetes and other pre-existing health conditions are guaranteed access to TX health plans. In the meantime, there is a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan or PCIP. That allows you to choose from three plan options with different levels of premiums, deductibles and co-pays. The PCIP is specifically designed for people with pre-existing health problems and attempts to provide less expensive coverage than other existing plan options.
The PCIP plan also provides 100% coverage with no deductible for preventive care when you see in-network health care providers. Preventive services include physical exams, vaccinations, and other preventive care services that are recommended to maintain health. On the downside, only those who have been uninsured for at least 6 months can apply. The PCIP also requires a doctor’s statement certifying you have or have had a health problem.
How Do New Texas Health Insurance Plans Help Maintain Health?
With Texas health insurance obtained after the Affordable Care Act became law, the old out-of-pocket costs attributed to co-payments and having to meet a deductible no longer apply to recommended preventive services. That makes it easier to catch diseases, like diabetes, early when they’re most treatable. Many people successfully manage diabetes with regular exercise, weight management and eating to keep blood sugar levels stable.
It may sound like a lot of work, but some physicians have made it much easier. Dr. Neal Barnard, for one, has developed a diet that has been shown to be three times more effective at managing diabetes that and the standard diet previously recommended to people with diabetes. Surprisingly, the new diet does include bread. Because wheat and white bread raise blood sugar levels more than pumpernickel and rye, it’s easy to substitute the latter two. There’s even a sugar now on the market that’s low glycemic index – agave nectar.
The glycemic index, sometimes just called the GI, is the key to ranking carbohydrates based on how they affect blood glucose levels. Low GI carbs produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels. Keeping levels stable can be the secret reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.