Today’s prompt is to create a petition. I’ve read some really funny ones on other blogs…you should check them out…
If I were to start a petition, I think it would be to make CGMs more affordable.
A CGM (continuous glucose monitor) is a very useful tool that tells a patient what their blood sugar level is every five minutes or so. It can track those pesky highs you have after a meal or the lows you suspect you are having in the middle of the night, but have never been able to prove. These devices have been known to save lives. And they’re pretty cool.
However, to purchase a CGM system, you have to not only buy the very expensive transmitter and hand held receiver, but there are also the disposable sensors that must be replaced every three to seven days. (Though some have managed to make a Dexcom sensor last as long as 28 days.)
Sometimes I feel that good diabetes control is only for the rich – or those with amazingly good insurance. In order to get my pump, I had to have a special blood test done to prove that I had little to no natural insulin production. Even then, my insurance only pays 80% percent of the cost of the pump and the supplies. That leaves me with a significant bill every three months – not including the payments required on the pump itself every month. If I were to add the CGM my pump company provides, I would end up paying out of pocket nearly twice the cost of my mortgage every three months as well as the initial cost of the transmitter. And at the first of the year when the deductible resets, I would have to pay 100% out of my pocket until the high deductible is met. All this, of course, is on top of the cost of insulin, other prescriptions, and strips for my glucose meter. I don’t know about others, but I cannot afford that and still feed and clothe my two minor children.
So, to the diabetes technology companies out there – couldn’t there be a way to make these devices more affordable? And to the insurance companies – why are the disposable pump and CGM supplies not covered by prescriptions insurance rather than treated as durable medical equipment?
I’m sure I’m not the only one dreaming of a better life with diabetes only to find that while it is available, for those below a certain income level it might as well be a sci-fi dream.