November is Diabetes Awareness Month in Canada. With over 11 million Canadians1 living with diabetes or prediabetes, chances are, diabetes affects you or someone you know. According to Diabetes Canada, there will be over 13 million people who are expected to live with diabetes by 2030.
What is diabetes
Diabetes is a disease2 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)
Not sure of the signs and symptoms of diabetes to watch for? Learn more
Financial costs of diabetes
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 $5,000 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.
The Employee Life and Health Trust (ELHT) benefit plans have seen the costs for diabetes increase on average 15.6% year over year.
Coverage for diabetes claims
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.
Questions? We’re here to help. Check your benefits booklet for benefit plan terms and coverage details. If you need more information, that is not already covered in your benefits booklet, contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847. You can also visit our Help Centre.
Looking to learn more about diabetes? OTIP has compiled a list of resources to help you connect with the resources you need. We are here to support you.
The soaring cost of insulin, Dr. Brian Goldman, CBC News, January 28, 2019
World Diabetes Day