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To save money for his parents, this diabetic reduced his insulin



The high school graduate had an idea: he would reduce his insulin by about a third.

Dillon, who suffers from type 1 diabetes, is said to keep his blood sugar levels between 130 and 150, beginning to ration insulin, his level rising to as high as 300.

He knew that was dangerously high, and in the back of his mind he was worried that he might get into a diabetic coma. "I did not think right, but my parents work so hard to give me what I need, and I did not want to burden them financially," said 18-year-old Dillon.

From 2012 to 2016, the cost of insulin in type 1 diabetes nearly doubled from $ 2,864 a year to $ 5,705, according to a study by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit research institute this month.

The cost of Dillon's insulin was much higher. He was insured last year by his father's work at a steel mill in Utah. By the time Dillon began rationing his insulin, the mill had just become a high-deductible insurance policy, which meant his parents had to pay $ 5,000 out of their own pocket before the insurance went into effect.

Under this New Insurance The hooleys had to pay $ 800 a month for Dillon's insulin instead of the $ 60 they had paid on their old plan.

Dillon's father, Jason Hooley, was busy with his financial problems and was not working. Note that a 400-pound steel girder was about to fall on his middle finger. He lost half of his finger and could do only light work in the mill. After working fewer hours, he earned $ 300 less a week.

At this point, Dillon secretly began reducing his insulin. His parents found out when he regularly came to a doctor's appointment and the doctor was shocked by his high blood sugar level.

Dillon's father then changed twice to get better health insurance. Now the family pays $ 1

60 a month for its insulin, which is more than $ 800 a month, but still a financial struggle for the family of five. Dillon has again taken his full insulin dose under the watchful eyes of his mother.

Mindie Hooley cries as she thinks about what her son did to help his parents.

"He's such a selfless person," she said. "My heart has just broken because you want to do anything to protect it, but instead it has protected us."

Legislative promises

Some people with diabetes have not survived the rising price

In 2017, 22-year-old Antavia Worsham from Cincinnati died when she could not afford her insulin.

Her mother Antroinette Worsham said on Tuesday at Capitol Hill in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. A Senate committee held a hearing on rising drug prices on Tuesday.

"This is unacceptable and I intend to pinpoint the rise in insulin prices," said Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, at the hearing.

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The pharmaceutical industry says that patients with insurance, such as the hooleys, are not the full Pay as insulin manufacturers give the insurance companies deep discounts. "These savings are often not shared with patients whose out-of-pocket costs continue to rise," said Holly Campell, spokeswoman for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

A spokeswoman for the insurance industry, however, said that this was not the case true. "Savings through discounts go directly to customers," said Cathryn Donaldson, a spokesman for American health insurance plans.

In December 2016, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Maryland Deputy Elijah Cummings surveyed the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether insulin manufacturers have made price fixing.

In October, the Attorney General's Office in Minnesota filed suit against insulin manufacturers claiming illegal pricing practices. A lawsuit by diabetes patients in Massachusetts accusing insulin manufacturers of pricing is pending in the Federal Supreme Court.

Dillons Future

While drug companies and insurance companies point fingers at each other, the hooleys are still focused on bothering to pay $ 160 a month for Dillon's insulin as well as other supplies such as his test strips ,

Paying for his insulin has made it impossible for Dillon's parents to save enough money to buy a glucose monitor that triggers an alarm when his blood sugar level gets too low during sleep.

You know he needs one. Last month, his mother searched for him in his sleep and saw that he did not look right. She woke him and gave him some honey, but he was so confused by his low blood sugar that he did not eat the honey but smeared it all over his body.

An ambulance took him out of the emergency department where he was released stabilized.

After graduating from high school last May, Dillon wanted to go to school to become a nurse or respiratory therapist. Instead, he got a job at the factory where his father works to pay for his insulin and save for school.

He looks back on his two and a half months of insulin rationing and knows he made the wrong choice – but it was a choice of love.

"My parents do so much for me, and it was so hard to see them fighting financially," he said. "I felt helpless to be unable to contribute."


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