CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many Texans across the Coastal Bend live with diabetes, and have to use insulin to manage their diabetes.
Esperanza Paniagua is one of those Texans who uses insulin. She said it could get expensive, and uses coupons to lower the price to $20 for a monthly supply.
She said without the coupons, the price could reach $40.
She works at the Coastal Bend Food Bank as a product-recovery inspector, and said she uses their health-care plan.
“When you realize that you have diabetes or they let you know that you have diabetes, try to eat the right foods," she said. "Try to get out there and exercise and walk.”
Paniagua is part of the food bank’s Diabetes Hands-on Program which educates people with diabetes about how they can manage their stress, eat healthily, and to handle their symptoms without insulin.
“Many times people that have diabetes and they have food insecurity -- they can’t do what their doctor is recommending," said Georgiana Bradshaw, the food bank’s diabetes program coordinator. "They can’t do a healthy meal plan.”
Because many Texans are food insecure, the food bank has a pantry specifically for people with diabetes, where they can choose food that allows them to manage their diabetes.
With Gov. Greg Abbott signing Senate Bill 827 and making it a law, the price of insulin will be cheaper for Texans insured under a health-care plan overseen by the state. The law limits the co-pay for insulin to $25 for a monthly prescription. The law applies to any kind of insulin.
They said other people that are not covered under a health-insurance plan maintained by the State of Texas will not be covered and will have to pay prices based on their providers.
According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 11 percent of Texans have diabetes, and 34 percent have pre-diabetes. The ADA also said the price of insulin has tripled between 2002 and 2013.
Paniagua said that it was stressful finding out that she had diabetes more than 20 years ago, but said there is hope with the Coastal Bend Food Bank’s programs.
“I would not worry too much about it but it’s always going to be thinking about," she said. "Just try do the best you can."