HealthDay News — During the past decade, the number of patients with high out-of-pocket costs associated with diabetes has declined, particularly among low-income and publicly insured individuals, according to researchers.

The proportion of patients with diabetes who faced high out-of-pocket expenses related to the disease decreased from 2001 to 2011, with the greatest declines observed among those with public insurance (22%, P<0.001), low-income patients (21%, P<0.001) and the uninsured (12%, P=0.01), Rui Li, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta and colleagues reported in in Diabetes Care.

To assess trends in out-of-pocket costs for patients aged 18 to 64 years with diabetes, the researchers analyzed data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2001–2011.

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In 2011, 23% of individuals with diabetes had a high out-of-pocket burden, the researchers found. Overall, high out-of-pocket expenses decreased 5% (P<0.01), during the study period.

“The past decade has seen a narrowing of insurance coverage and income-related disparities in high out-of-pocket burden in people with diabetes, yet almost one-fourth of all people with diabetes still face a high out-of-pocket burden,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Li R et al. Diabetes Care.2014; doi: 10.2337/dc13-1997.