Young Woman with Diabetes Dies After Aging Out of Program That Covered Insulin

Rationing insulin is a common issue among Americans living with diabetes. Due to the high cost of the drug, many struggle to afford it. A recent Yale survey found that up to 14% of patients spend at least 40% of their post-food and housing income on the drug. This can have deadly consequences, as a recent story of a young woman living with diabetes illustrates.

According to a news report from 11Alive in Atlanta, Antavia Worsham was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 16. At the time, she was able to enroll in a state program that covered the high costs of this diagnosis, from medication to care. However, she aged out of the program at age 21. She died just a year later, having struggled to handle the costs herself.


Worsham’s mother Antroinette shared the story with the Atlanta NBC affiliate, saying, her daughter “went to the pharmacy and she was like, ‘Mama, they want $500 for my insulin.’ And I was like, ‘$500? What?’ I didn’t know how important it was for her to really have that insulin to live. I miss my baby so much. Goodness gracious, I try not to get emotional as I miss her so much.”

This pain drove Antroinette to take action for other young people, including another one of her daughters who lives with the disease. She helped make changes to the Ohio Children with Medical Handicaps program, which now allows young adults to extend their coverage each year until they reach 26.

She says, “I absolutely know that I have to support. I have to support her, because insulin is expensive and is not changing. It’s going up, right, like everything else. And people are dying every day because they can’t afford health care.”

To hear more about this heartbreaking story, and the issue of insulin costs across the country, watch the video from 11Alive below.

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