I'm a 34 year old Type I Diabetic considering going to law school. What concerns me is the ability to get adequate health insurance--or health insurance at all while in school. My first go around, I was on my parents insurance and was lucky enough to get a job after graduating so I did not have to worry. This time, I would be on my own and am extremely hesitant to take the plunge with out a blue print or plan to ensure that my medical needs will be met.
Are there any folks on here who have gone or know someone who has gone to law school and were responsible for getting their own health insurance and or medical supplies? If so, would you mind sharing your experience and suggestions?
Specifically, I'd like to know the following:
1. How well do University Health plans cover people with chronic illnesses--diabetes?
2. Does Financial Aid cover the cost of purchasing health insurance? I'm aware that you can receive aid for the cost of "required" insurance; Since my needs go far and above what's often required of healthy young people, is it possible to receive financial aid to cover the cost of insurance for people who have diabetes?
3. How does one attend law school and still get their medical supplies at a decent price?
Any thoughts, advice, suggestions, and personal opinions will be greatly appreciated.
I can't speak to Law School specfically, but I was able to get the same health insurance as every other graduate student while in graduate school. The University of California provided pretty decent coverage through Blue Cross and I wasn't penalized for being diabetic. It's been awhile but I don't recall ever being short on supplies because insurance wouldn't pay for insulin, syringes, or anything else I might have needed.
Is this something you can check into at the law school of your choice?
When I was diagnosed in grad school, I didn't have any insurance. I found out that because I had no income (and was living on student loans), I was eligible for mostly free healthcare through Medicaid. In comparison, the student insurance I had access to (Emblem- something) was extremely expensive and excluded care for pre-existing conditions- totally useless! You may have a better plan available though, and I suggest getting info from your university about it.
Depending on your financial situation, it also may be useful to meet with a case manager at a clinic who can help you explore your options and fill out paperwork. I see that you're from NY, and if you're in NYC, I'd be happy to email you info on a great walk-in clinic, where I was actually diagnosed. They gave me prescriptions with no co-pay for insulin & d-supplies for several months until Medicaid kicked in. Good luck! I'm sure there are many law students with D, and that there will be a way to work this out.
I went to bigger universities (Illinois and UNC) and they had very good health care at both of them, just go to the student health center, get supplies, etc. It may be useful to look at your target schools that way?
Thanks, Rennie. I know that’s an option but I’m on the insulin pump and have a Dexcom CGM. It’s my understanding that as of to date, Medicaid doesn’t cover pumps or CGMS. Medicaid is certainly better than nothing, but, I’d prefer to stay on the pump as it’s the best method for me to properly management my BG.
Thanks for the advice.
Thanks! I’ll do that. Let’s hope they have pump supplies and Dexcom sensors.
Thanks, FHS. I’ll look into it. It seems as tho insulin and syringes are easily obtained. My issue is that I’m on the pump (and prefer to stay on it), it’s not clear to me whether or not I’d be able to get pump supplies and sensors for my CGM.
Thanks for your input and pointing me in the right direction.