Like nothing else, COVID-19 has put once-simple choices in stark contrast. Though there's a new year on the calendar, we're still living much of the same ole existence since the pandemic's grip set in. And it's brought once-answered questions back to the fore. Do you continue to socially distance? Or do you gather? Do you wear a mask? Or do you not? And what do you do now as vaccines are beginning to roll out while much of the population remains unvaccinated? The uncertainty has extended to all corners of the economy as well as the virus's spread has gained momentum since the pandemic began. It's put some people living with diabetes in the unenviable position of having to make yet another choice that could greatly impact their health, one exacerbated by the design of some health insurance plans which reset at the beginning of each year. That means patients could now be facing thousands of dollars out of pocket to meet their deductibles before coverage kicks in. That can lead to another choice: Do you continue to monitor your condition appropriately? Or, when cost becomes a factor, do you not? It's yet another financial burden for people living with diabetes. With the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, a continuous glucose monitoring technology, for many, it's a choice that's easier to make for better health. 'From the start, we set out to make our FreeStyle Libre portfolio available to as many people living with diabetes as possible. That's why it's priced 70% lower than other CGMs, without sacrificing performance and accuracy,' said Mahmood Kazemi, M.D., chief medical officer, Diabetes Care, Abbott. 'We're working to ensure all people living with diabetes have access to the life-changing benefits of our technology, all at a fraction of the cost of other available CGMs.' The Higher Costs of Living With Diabetes According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the average annual cost is nearly $10,000 for anyone living with the chronic condition. And data from Circulation show that 40 percent of Americans living with diabetes experience financial hardship from medical bills, even when properly insured. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as many as 18% of Americans with diabetes have faced unemployment. When you're not working, that can make the work of managing your diabetes harder, which could jeopardize your overall health considering people living with diabetes are at risk of developing more serious complications from the virus. The ADA found that one in four people 'with diabetes have turned to rationing to cut the cost of their diabetes care by skipping insulin or medication doses, and testing their blood glucose less often.' That potential cost to their health isn't measured just in good dollars and good sense when you look at it from their perspective. How FreeStyle Libre 2 Helps Our FreeStyle Libre 2 system — the only integrated continuous glucose monitor with optional, real-time alarms that measures glucose levels every minute — achieves the highest levels of accuracy and performance standards1 for people managing their diabetes care. A small sensor worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days, the technology eliminates the need for routine fingersticks.2 With a one-second scan using a handheld reader, the FreeStyle Libre 2 system gives real-time glucose readings, eight-hour history of glucose data and a trend arrow showing where levels are heading. And now it's available for kids 4 and older. All for a fraction of cost of other CGMs. When every second — like every penny — counts, there's not a more time- or cost-efficient way to manage your diabetes. Building access and affordability into our FreeStyle Libre portfolio is an important part of Abbott's broader work to help even more people live more fully. As part of our 2030 Sustainability Plan, we're working across our business and in partnership with others to address health disparities, expand access and remove barriers that prevent people from living healthy lives, wherever they are. We're working to back up our words with action in the form of a three-year, $5 million commitment to support American Diabetes Association (ADA) advocacy and community-driven activations designed to remove barriers to care while providing greater access to the latest medical technologies and health resources for underserved diabetes populations. Because we know, like you, that affordable medical technologies can't do the good they were designed for by sitting behind the curtain of exclusivity. It's time to pull back the rope. With the ADA, we are expanding our work to open access and let everyone living with diabetes benefit from the state of the art in care and health tech. On top of our work with the ADA, people using the FreeStyle Libre 2 system can count on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement,3 giving doctors more flexibility to prescribe CGMs. It may be the easiest choice you can make today. References 1Based on FDA iCGM special controls. 2Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings, when you suspect readings may be inaccurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose. 3Patients must meet Medicare eligibility coverage criteria. Local Coverage Determination: Glucose Monitors (L33822), January 2020.