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The cost of the pump is worth the convenience for me

Brenton, 34

1. Know what you need

Almost all diabetes devices require ongoing supplies. Once you’ve figured out which device you want, think about how much you’re going to use it and how long each part of it will last.

For example, sensors usually have three parts: a receiver that lasts for a year or more, a transmitter that lasts from 3 months to a year, and disposable sensors that last from one to two weeks. Insulin pumps usually have three parts: the pump itself that lasts several years, a disposable reservoir (the part that holds the insulin) that lasts around 3 days, and a disposable infusion set (the part that’s attached to you) that lasts two to four days.

If you’ve decided you want to use a sensor, but only once a month, you will only need 12 sensors a year. However, if you plan to wear a sensor every day, you will need more. Look up the details for the device you plan to use, and figure out how much of each supply you will need to order each month. Don’t forget to include extra in case something doesn’t last as long as you’ve planned.

2. Find out the price

Call your insurance company and ask for the full price of the device and supplies. Insurance companies negotiate different costs for the same devices. Even if you're paying full price, this amount will differ from one insurance company to another.

3. Determine your insurance coverage

Diabetes devices are usually covered under the “Durable Medical Equipment” portion of your insurance, but not always. Sometimes they are covered under your pharmacy benefit. Only your insurance company can tell you which category the device will fall under.  If you don’t know how to look this up, call the customer service number on your insurance card. Once you know which category your device falls into, you can figure out how much of the cost is covered by your insurance, and how much of the cost you must pay.

*This page was based on the US insurance system. If you are from outside the US, your insurance coverage may vary.