I remember when I first tried to get a Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system. My insurance company quickly denied it and I was told no one in the state had been successful on appeal. I did not have a history of hypoglycemic unawareness or any emergency interventions for a low blood sugar so I determined my chance on appeal was not worth the effort. A few years later, continuous glucose monitors were added to my insurance plan and I was able to purchase the device. There are still private insurance companies that deny access to continuous glucose monitors but those are becoming increasingly rare.
I know there are plenty of people who have no desire to wear a CGM device. They do not want to wear a second device. They are happy with their management without the hassle that can come with bad sites, bed sensors, repeated calibrations, and interfering alarms. But then there are also people with hypoglycemic unawareness, who live alone, or who are extremely sensitive to insulin.
Just like juvenile type 1 diabetes does not go away when a person turns 18, it also does not go away when they turn 65. If a doctor and an insurance company can conclude that a continuous glucose monitor is medically necessary at 64, then I wonder what is clinically different at age 65.
There is now an opportunity for the diabetes community to have our voice heard on this issue. Yesterday, Senators Susan Collins (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D), who are co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus introduced S. 2689, The Medicare CGM Access Act. Access to continuous glucose monitoring systems for Medicare participants is supported by JDRF, AACE, AADE, Dexcom, Johnson and Johnson (home of Lifescan and Animas), and Medtronic, among other organizations.
Please read more about the CGM coverage bill and the study data supporting the bill ***at this link*** and considering adding a voice to this important issue. Diabetes technologies continue to grow, develop, and improve, and people with diabetes continue to live longer, healthier lives. Unless there is a cure, access to appropriate diabetes technologies as part of Medicare is an issue that will eventually affect everyone in the diabetes community.
(Petition part 1)
Edited to add: It is also important to add a signature to ***the petition located at this site***. The goal right now is 10,000 signatures but expect that number to change as each goal is reached. The signatures from this petition will go to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.