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Diabetes affects you or someone you know

November is Diabetes Awareness Month in Canada. With 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes, chances are, diabetes affects you or someone you know.
Diabetes is a disease in which your body either can't produce insulin or can't properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas. It regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
Blood sugar must be carefully regulated to ensure that the body functions properly. Too much blood sugar can cause damage to organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Your body also needs insulin in order to use sugar for energy.

Types of diabetes

There are three major types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes (most common)
  • Gestational diabetes (occurs during pregnancy, and is usually temporary)

Coverage for diabetes claims

Diabetes places a serious financial burden on those living with the disease. According to Diabetes Canada, out-of-pocket costs to manage diabetes can be as much as $4,900 per year. In general, Canadians with Type 1 diabetes spend more than those with Type 2 diabetes. And, if you're on an insulin pump, you spend a lot more. Exactly how much Canadians pay depends in large part on the province in which they live.
Last year, six per cent of drug claims processed under the Employee Life and Health Trust (ELHT) benefit plans were attributed to diabetes.
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers some diabetes products. The unpaid portion of the OHIP claim may be submitted to your ELHT benefits plan for reimbursement. Be sure to include the OHIP claim statement when you submit your claim.
To find out which diabetes products are covered by your ELHT benefits plan, you can contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1-866-783-6847 or by email at
Be sure to check back at to learn more and a chance to win one of four $25 Freshii gift cards! 

In our next article, we’ll focus on the types of diabetes, and the signs and symptoms to watch for.


Diabetes Canada
Differences between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, Diabetes Care Community
The soaring cost of insulin, Dr. Brian Goldman, CBC News, January 28, 2019
World Diabetes Day

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