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Almost a quarter of adults with type 1 diabetes have had an “interruption” in private health insurance coverage of a month or longer during a three-year period, researchers at the University of Michigan find. These individuals were five times more likely following such a gap to visit an emergency room, hospital, or urgent care center than they were previously. This acute care is largely preventable. 

This study is the first to look at the effects of changing insurance plans – sometimes referred to as “churn” – on people with type 1 diabetes and private insurance. Gaps in coverage from changing plans especially impact people with diabetes, as the conditions and their complications require such intensive management.

Continuity of care is vital to staying healthy when living with diabetes. We are especially troubled to learn that these “interruptions” will likely increase as job turnover does, since about 55 percent of Americans get health insurance through their employer. 

If you are concerned about a potential upcoming gap in your insurance coverage, we encourage you to start the process of switching insurance at least one or two months early. Keep track of all relevant dates and set aside time to gather documentation, research plans, and make phone calls. Read our full resource on navigating changes in plans here.