Advocacy Blog

Breaking News: U.S. Senate Seeks to Help Medicare-Eligible Americans Gain Access to CGMs

BREAKING NEWS! Did ya hear?

On Wednesday, July 30, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, introduced legislation – S. 2689, the ‘Medicare CGM Access Act of 2014’ – that would help Medicare-eligible Americans gain coverage for Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs).

Immediately following the introduction of the bill, JDRF President and CEO Derek Rapp issued a statement of support for the effort in the form of this JDRF press release.  Additionally, JDRF International Board Member and Chair of the JDRF Advocacy Committee, Lorraine Stiehl sent an email out to all JDRF Advocates telling them how they can support this important issue. Did you receive it? (Pssst… if you didn’t receive it, please sign-up today for JDRF Advocacy emails!)

The use of CGM technologies is recommended by national diabetes clinical guidelines and covered by nearly all private health plans. However, Medicare does not yet cover CGM devices, denying access to this innovative and potentially life-saving technology to those 65+ and on Medicare. Currently, people with insulin-dependent diabetes who are successfully using CGM treatment regimen through private plans and turn 65 are suddenly denied coverage for their CGM. This leaves them susceptible to dangerous low (hypo-) and high (hyper-) blood sugar levels, and at an increased risk for costly hospitalization.

In addition to helping older Americans, this coverage would help pave the way for the next generation of CGM-related technologies, such as artificial pancreas systems.

So what can YOU do to help? Three Things:

  • Email your U.S. Senators and ask them to Co-sponsor this timely legislation0 (just takes 2 simple steps):  http://jdrf.org/action
  • Sign our petition to Medicare: http://bit.ly/1ocr87c
  • Share this important issue and the many ways to get involved with your friends and family on social media

Diabetes is one of the costliest chronic diseases in this country today – accounting for $245 billion in economic costs in 2012, including $104 billion which is attributed to those age 65 and older. Currently, the costs for a hypoglycemia inpatient admission average $17,564 per visit. By ensuring our seniors have access to CGM technology, they will be able to track and correct their blood sugars before they reach a sever hypo- or hyper- event that would typically land them in the hospital.

NOW is the time for us to speak out and ensure those with Medicare have access to life-saving CGM technologies. And Medicare, it’s time to step up and cover the CGM.

Please join us!

2 thoughts on “Breaking News: U.S. Senate Seeks to Help Medicare-Eligible Americans Gain Access to CGMs

  1. Amy Taylor

    Let’s not forget about our younger generation with type 1 diabetes who are on medi-cal and other state programs that have been denied coverage and can not afford the CGM but will benefit from it just as wellI am a mother 3 children two of which are type 1 diabetic I am speaking out on behalf of them they deserve to live a healthier life also

  2. Walter Knapp

    As a type II diabetic I cannot support a push for only type I diabetics being supported by medicare for CGMs. I depend on insulin to stay alive too, there is no reason that type II cannot benefit equally from CGMs, especially those like myself who have used insulin for many years. In my case to the limits of what I can achieve with single sampling meters only.
    I oppose this distiction between type I and type II diabetics on insulin. Any push to get CGMs should support all diabetics. Not forgetting the largest group of diabetics.

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