If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll likely have a whirlwind of questions—how much insulin costs in Canada among them. Unfortunately, the price of insulin in Canada has gone up in the last few years, and there is growing concern that people will not be able to afford the life-saving drugs that they need.
At Group Enroll, we understand how tricky it is to navigate the healthcare system, and we work with top health providers who offer programs that will allow you to buy insulin at lower tax-free rates.
If you’re looking for a health insurance company in Ontario that takes the worry and fuss out of getting the medicine that you or your employees need, Group Enroll is here to help you find it—get multiple quotes fast!
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The Current Insulin Price in Canada
Insulin in Canada typically costs $30 to $40 per vial, with most diabetics using between one and ten vials per month. While that price is much lower than many other countries, it is still a higher price than most Canadians are willing to pay, and it has gone up in recent years. For example, between 2010 and 2015, the average price of insulin in Canada jumped more than 50%.
There are several reasons for the leap. Primarily, the demand for insulin is on the rise. More and more Canadians are diabetic than ever before. Additionally, there’s plenty of cross-border need for Canadian insulin. Americans from border cities and towns regularly cross over to buy insulin, which can cost more than 900% more in the US, increasing the price even further.
Finally, the formula for insulin changed over the past several years. It is more effective now than in the past and is also more expensive to make.
Factors that Impact the Price of Insulin
How much is insulin in Canada annually? It can be through the roof when you consider that some people with diabetes go through several insulin vials per week. The cost of insulin in Canada can be high for those without private insurance and eats up a considerable part of a typical household budget. Many Canadians will pay close to $7,000 annually for insulin.
Those with Type 2 diabetes will generally pay more. The insulin cost in Canada is too much for some people, and they opt to skip doses of their insulin rather than pay massive out of pocket fees. This practice is dangerous both for individuals and the Canadian healthcare system.
Although insulin itself is far more sophisticated than ever, many people with advanced diabetes find that they need more and more insulin just to feel okay. While some people with diabetes only need three doses a week, severe cases require close to ten. These people are often the ones who have problems when the price rises.
How Many Canadians Have Diabetes?
Studies estimate that 33% of the Canadian population has some form of diabetes or prediabetes. Experts project that number to rise as stress rates go up, and our collective lifestyle habits deteriorate.
Obesity, sugary foods, and sedentary lifestyles are all to blame for skyrocketing diabetes diagnoses.
The Impact of Diabetes in Canada
As diabetes diagnoses rise, the rate of diabetes-related health conditions rises with it. Those with diabetes in Canada account for 70% of all amputations not related to trauma, 50% of dialysis patients, 40% of heart attacks, and 30% of strokes annually.
Diabetes is a significant contributor to depression, with 30% of patients showing symptoms. It is also the top cause of blindness nationwide, and one in every ten deaths is somehow tied to diabetes. In short—the healthcare costs of diabetes range far beyond just the cost of insulin.
The condition impacts more than just individuals and healthcare costs, too. Companies suffer due to employee sick time and missed work for medical emergencies. Employees who are not feeling well won’t perform at their best, leading to work that needs to be redone or reassigned.
Prospective employees will also turn down jobs that they don’t feel offer them proper insurance benefits. Since the cost of having diabetes and insulin is so high, many employees will take lower-paying work to have their medication covered.
If you’re a business owner, it’s a good business practice to work with your employees and find plans that suit their medical needs. At Group Enroll, we work with top Canadian insurance providers to ensure you have plenty of options to make your company far more attractive to prospective employees.
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Ways Canadians Can Offset Insulin Costs
Since the price of insulin in Canada is relatively steep, many Canadians with diabetes are looking for ways to offset their insulin costs without damaging their health.
Traditional health insurance can cover some prescriptions, but many Canadians find that it’s not enough. Often, they turn to other creative avenues for getting money, like GoFund me accounts or fundraisers.
One somewhat effective way to offset the insulin price in Canada is to open a Health Spending Account, or HSA. There’s no need to pay any premiums upfront, and patients can write off all their costs.
It’s like a separate tax-free bank account strictly for insulin costs.
Health Spending Accounts Can Help
At Group Enroll, we can help you find the best Health Spending Accounts for your business. Employers will often tack these accounts on existing healthcare plans as an added incentive for those with chronic diseases, like diabetes.
These plans are tax-free, and don’t come with any deductibles, making them very attractive choices! They are used to cover existing elective work, like cosmetic surgeries, as well as some kinds of medications like insulin.
Many employees feel like they have more control over these accounts, so they are a very popular option. To learn more about how Health Spending Accounts can help make your company a more attractive place for employees, fill out our contact form.
Other Ways Diabetics Can Take Care of Themselves
Getting your insulin is only one piece of the pie. People with diabetes need to take care of themselves in different ways, including sticking to a healthy lifestyle and ensuring that their condition does not worsen.
If you are diabetic or prediabetic, please consider taking the following steps to improve your health and decrease your need for extra insulin.
You are what you eat! People with diabetes need to eat a healthy and well-rounded diet to ensure that their sugar and insulin levels are always appropriate. Those who don’t take these essential steps could risk having a sugar crash or medical emergency.
Whole foods are usually the best. You want to stay away from anything that is heavily processed or contains simple sugars. Try to eat fruits with a lot of fibre, and remember to eat a rainbow of different vegetables.
People with diabetes who incorporate a healthy diet into their lifestyle often find that they can better manage their symptoms. Ultimately, it helps them to feel more like themselves.
Take Your Medication
Even though insulin prices in Canada are quite high, it’s still important to always take your medication. Missing a dose—or worse, doses—can actually make your diabetes worse. You might think that you’re saving money, but you are harming your health in the long run and may end up with even more costly medical complications.
Don’t skip doses, no matter how tempted you might be. The trip to the hospital that you avoid will be worth it.
Test Your Blood
Diabetics and prediabetics must test their blood sugar often to make sure that their levels are normal. You do not want to have a medical emergency that alerts you to the fact that your blood is off-kilter.
Make sure that you test your blood as much as your doctor recommends, and always keep your eyes peeled for abnormalities.
Get out there and get moving! Regular exercise is an excellent way to not only keep your weight down but also regulate your diabetes. You will feel much better, and your body will process food more optimally.
Although regular exercise can’t cure your diabetes, it can certainly help you manage it. You can even consult your doctor for diabetes-specific exercise regimens that will keep you in tip-top form.
Make sure that you don’t overdo it, though, especially if you are ever feeling unwell. If you start to feel dizzy or like the exercise is too much for you, don’t hesitate to stop.
Are You a Business Owner?
These days, your employees have many different options right at their fingertips. Depending on the job market and sector that you operate in, there could be countless competitors who want to work with your top performers.
As a business, you need to bring something new and better to the table. One of the best ways that you can do that is to offer excellent healthcare coverage with the option of a Health Spending Account. By doing this, you are telling your employees that you value their health and want to give them as many different options as possible to take care of themselves.
Many healthcare companies simply don’t understand the business side of things, so their products are not what you’re looking for. At Group Enroll, we only work with insurance providers who are committed to supporting small business owners and offer solutions that can actually meet the needs of Canadian businesses.
We operate in a transparent, quick way that makes healthcare and healthcare options easy to understand. Our goal is to make both you and all of your employees comfortable with your healthcare options and feel satisfied that they are fully covered if the time comes for them to need to go to the hospital or get life-saving medication.
When it comes to healthcare, you don’t have time to mess around. You want cost-effective, logical options that will protect both you and your employees. At Group Enroll, we know that the price of insulin in Canada is steadily going up, and we are standing by to help you find excellent options for you, your staff, and your company.
Get in touch with our team today for a no-pressure consultation to get quotes from multiple providers all in one place!