Calling at Americans (USA) with T1D who have been to college/ uni

Hiya! I am a wee girl from Scotland who is looking for places to do a post graduate course. One which has caught my attention is one in New York City, which obviously looks like it will be quite a lot of fun, however, totalling costs, I have no idea how much I, as a type one diabetic, would have to allocate towards healthcare - we get free prescriptions in the UK so I have only ever had to pay for my hypo stopping juice :p. What do you have to pay for as a student at university and how much money should I, a T1D, save up for it?
Thank you :smiley:

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New York City would be fun!!

If you plan to purchase health insurance through the University, it’d probably be best to reach out to the University to get information about their health insurance program. They should be able to give you the current premiums for plans they offer and some sort of plan brochure. The plan brochure should tell you what health insurance company’s network they use. It should also outline the cost-sharing structure of their drug benefit and what your copay will be for a primary care physician and specialist doctor appointment.

Most students under the age of 26 stay on their parent’s plan while going to school.

Health insurance in the United States is very expensive and very complicated. Health care in general is very expensive here.

Individual health insurance plans cap out-of-pocket costs for covered benefits (in-network and approved drugs) at about $7,000. In a really good health insurance plan, someone with type 1 may not even come close to paying that much. In a plan with poor benefits, someone with type 1 may not have any benefits kick in until they’ve hit that $7,000.

Contacting the school for more information is probably the best place to start.

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Also make sure you tell them you will attend as a foreign student. Foreign students (even students with out of state residency) normally pay more for all college costs in the US including tuition, housing, etc. so make sure you ask them about all associated costs for a foreign student. You can also ask them if they have any foreign exchange program with your school or community in Scotland.

Your best bet will be to get coverage through the college, it would be very difficult otherwise. I have a feeling the costs will vary at different schools and what program you might be under when attending. As to your insulin and supplies costs, it will depend totally on what the health plan the college offers.

In the US we are having a huge problem with the costs of insulin skyrocketing, so you will want some kind of coverage.

Do you have a insulin pump or CGM?

It is doubtful that you will ever be able to “save up” enough money to pay for healthcare. If you are in NY, you may be able to get less expensive insulin by driving to Canada or getting it by mail order. Is this the one that people recommend?

What tech/treatment are you using? Is the same stuff available in the US?

Some foreign students bring months worth of insulin with, then fly home on the holidays and get months more of supplies. Parents might mail durable supplies from home.

Just as an estimate, an appointment with a Doctor, who can write you a prescription for insulin, might cost $350. That prescription might last 6 months or a year. You will need a prescription unless you are comfortable using R and NPH, which do not require a prescription at Walmart. I doubt there are Walmarts in NYC, but you could travel outside the city to purchase.

A bottle on insulin might cost $300. You may need to pay $1,000 or $3,000 out of pocket before insurance starts to cover any costs. (Thats the plan deductible.) After that, they may cover 80% of the cost. There will be a “plan maximum out of pocket,” that is the maximum amount that you could ever be expected to pay. It might be $5,000 per year…depends on the plan.

Email a school and ask what their health plan deductible is. (Thats how much you will expect to pay, every year, starting on January 1st). Ask them, once you reach your deductible payment, what percent of the prescription cost do they pay?

If you are ever hospitalized, or ride on an ambulance, the bill will be thousands of dollars. Even with insurance you will likely pay many hundreds, or thousands, of dollars. However, they have to treat you even without insurance. If you dont pay the bill, I dont expect any problems. Sooner or later you will go back to Scotland and leave the bill behind. They will write off the costs. Everything will be fine.

The college plan may or may not be adequate.

New York is kinda similar to Minnesota (Where I live). In Minnesota, we have a government plan that is very good (If you are a resident and don’t make much money). “In general, applicants must be US citizens, US nationals or lawfully present in a qualified immigration status to be eligible for coverage through MNsure.” Our public and private insurance plans are listed under MNsure. If possible, you want the public plan for poor people. The other options will bankrupt you.

New York probobly has something similar. But, we may need a New Yorker to weigh in.

I can guarantee that the system will break, so you MUST always have backup insulin. Do not wait until the last minute to buy more insulin. Do not run out. You MUST have an insulin safety net. Start trying to buy more a month before you run out, or have parents ship more, overnight, from home.

Would you be able to bring your free insulin and supplies with you and have what you need sent to the US by family or friends? Mailing diabetes supplies/medications would be much more affordable for you and if you need medical care, seek a hospital emergency facility.


New York seems great, but it’s one of the most expensive areas to live in in the U.S. Likewise for anywhere on the coast (D.C. to Boston corridor, especially) and California as well. You might be better off in Canada, which has some great, large universities. My friend moved from the UK to Canada with 6 kids. She said there is some sort of agreement between the UK and Canada still for situations like this? That’s worth looking into.

I live in New York and can attest to the fact that this state is a mess. Wasteful spending and corruption plague the entire state. Couple that with poor infrastructure, high taxes, benefits fraud, and a myriad of other problems that have severely crippled New York State. If you have deep pockets and money isn’t much of a concern, New York can be a wonderful place.

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