The number of Americans with diabetes has tripled over the last 30 years. According to the most recent CDC estimates, more than 29 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the U.S. population, had diabetes in 2014, though more than a quarter of them were undiagnosed.
While diabetes has been widely recognized as a growing public health challenge in the U.S., a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) shows that it also has a substantial financial impact. In 2013, $14,999 was spent per capita on health care for people with diabetes – nearly 71 percent ($10,700) more than the $4,305 spent per capita for those without the disease.
Even more notable, the costs for children with diabetes have been rising faster than for any other age group under 65, in part due to higher spending on brand name insulin medication. In 2013, $2,511 was spent per child with diabetes on branded insulin, more than four times what was spent on branded insulin for middle-aged adults.
“There has been extraordinary growth in health care spending for children with diabetes,” said HCCI Senior Researcher Amanda Frost and co-author of the report. “It appears that higher spending on branded insulin is one factor influencing this trend. Moving forward, it will be important to continue to analyze these spending trends to see what else we can learn about how the way we manage diabetes contributes to its costs.”
HCCI’s report, Per Capita Health Care Spending on Diabetes: 2009-2013, is one of the first of its kind to examine health care spending for adults and children with diabetes relative to those without diabetes, both in terms of total per capita health care spending and out-of-pocket costs. It is based on the health care claims of more than 40 million Americans younger than 65 covered by employer-sponsored insurance from 2009 to 2013.
To learn more about HCCI’s findings, check out these articles:
This Disease Hikes Health Care Costs by More than $10,000 a Year – The Fiscal Times