Diabetes costs


Written by: Costnip Team

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Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. There are three main types:


  • Type 1 Diabetes - The body fails to produce insulin due to an autoimmune response. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. About 5-10% of cases.
  • Type 2 Diabetes - The body does not use insulin properly. It accounts for about 90-95% of cases and is linked to obesity, family history, and other factors.
  • Gestational Diabetes - Develops in pregnant women without prior history of diabetes. Usually goes away after pregnancy but increases risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later.


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Common symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. Diabetes can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Here are typical medical services and costs:


Diabetes Average Cost
Primary Care Visits $100-$200
Endocrinologist Visits $150-$300
Insulin $75-$150 per month
Oral Medications $20-$100 per month
Test Strips and Lancets $70-$100 per month
Insulin Pump $4,000-$6,000
CGM Device $2,000-$3,000 initial, $75-$100 per month


  • For type 1 diabetes, the average lifetime cost is around $1 million per person for all medical expenses related to managing the condition.
  • For type 2 diabetes, the average lifetime cost is approximately $250,000 if well managed, but can reach up to $500,000 if complications arise.
  • Routine medications and supplies to manage type 2 diabetes costs between $5,000-$10,000 annually over a lifetime.
  • Management of complications like kidney disease, eye damage, or cardiovascular disease can add $50,000-$120,000 over a lifetime.
  • End of life care for diabetes patients averages around $65,000 due to higher utilization of medical services.
  • Indirect costs like reduced productivity, missed work days or early retirement average around $90,000-$120,000 over a lifetime with diabetes.
  • People diagnosed early in life have higher lifetime costs due to requiring decades of disease management.
  • Costs that occur later in retirement age are lower on average.


Routine costs for medication, supplies, and provider visits for treating diabetes typically range from $5,000 to $15,000 annually. The lifetime cost of diabetes care over several decades can easily exceed $250,000 per individual. Having health insurance and adhering to treatment plans can help manage costs.  Check out the Costnip Resource Library to find help with some associated costs.