It’s that time of year again where I am getting a check-up.

Pretty much every year I encounter a disheartening obstacle in this journey – my insurance’s refusal to cover one or more basic health marker tests that are quite common and necessary.

This year, it’s the refusal of an A1c test, a fundamental marker for diabetes management and prevention. You might be saying, “but Pam, you are healthy. It’s your son with diabetes, not you”.

Yes and no.

 

How To Tell If Someone Is Healthy, Just By Looking

 

Spoiler alert: We can’t always tell by looking at someone if they are healthy or not.

And in the case of diabetes, you definitely cannot tell by someone’s physical appearance or weight and blood pressure alone.

Not many people know that caretakers of children with Type 1 Diabetes never sleep. We are stressed, and even though my son takes more of the care load now that he’s older, caretaker trauma has me conditioned to wake up several times a night. I do not sleep.

 

Sleep Affects Your Susceptibility To Diabetes

 

It has been proven that stress and a lack of sleep increase insulin resistance and the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes.

I was just at the border of pre-diabetes at my last check-up, although I eat very well, exercise and am not overweight. Yet, my doctor’s request for this test was denied – again.

 

Healthcare Gaps in Essential Preventive Measures

 

But this isn’t about my health. I highlight this because my case is not uncommon. My story is reflective of a broader issue that affects countless individuals, particularly women, who are at risk.

The prevalence and incidence of diabetes among women is over 9%. Prevalence increases with age and reaches almost 20% by age 65. The global average of undiagnosed diabetes is 40%.

And yet, the roadblocks to accessing preventive care measures, like an A1c test, remain substantial.

 

The Importance of Early Detection and Prevention

 

Why is this concerning?

Those of us in the healthcare sector know that diabetes is a growing health crisis. Early detection and intervention can dramatically alter the trajectory of the condition, reducing the risk of complications and improving quality of life.

 

The Paradox of Healthcare Gaps

 

The irony of this story is palpable. Insurers, in an attempt to avoid the costs associated with diabetes management and medication, often overlook the fact that preventive care is the most cost-effective strategy.

Not only can it save healthcare costs, but it also saves lives.

This isn’t just about a denied test. It’s about the desperate need for a system that prioritizes prevention, recognizes the unique health challenges women face, and ensures access to necessary health screenings for all.

It’s time for healthcare policies to reflect the understanding that investing in preventive care – testing and preventive programs – is not a cost but a savings.

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