The cost of peace of mind

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 16:50

Gareth Embassador


A number of times now I have come across people asking how much does it cost to be on a pump and a CGM system. Don't worry I am not going to lie it is another cost in this extremely expensive world but when I look at the benefits it is 100% worth every cent. I will go into more detail but here is the basic details -

- Insulin - With being on a pump you only need 1 type of insulin so to fill the script, here in Aus, will be under $40 for around 2 months (longer depending on your intake).

- Pump - This is obviously an expensive piece of the pie however what a lot of people don't realize is that 100% of the cost is covered if you have the right level with your Private Health Insurer. Yes that means that even though it may be a pre-existing condition the only thing you have to do is wait for a 12 month waiting period before you can claim for the pump. One great thing that Medtronic are doing about this is that while your waiting to get through the 12 month waiting period your able to access what is called a Bridge the Gap pump. This will give you a loan pump to get you up and running and then once the PHI kicks in you get your very own buddy that sits on your hip.

- Pump Consumables - This is the reservoirs and the canular lines that you need to replace every 2-3 days. Seeing as we are all Type 1 Diabetics we are lucky that 90% of the cost of these is covered by the government run NDSS (National Diabetes Services Scheme) program. If you not registered then get registered. On average 1 box of 10 reservoirs and a box of 10 canular lines will cost around $30. This means around $30 per month to run your pump.

-CGM - this part is where people really get scared and run away and I don't blame you. That is until you break it down to smaller periods of time and smaller periods of money. The best way to really look at things, I find, is to put it into perspective. A large part of the population these days take it upon themselves and have a few freshly brewed coffees a day and to get a decent coffee we are at least looking at $4 - $5 per coffee (Lets not get into the specialized coffee). So lets say you have 2 coffees a day at $5, you are in fact spending $3,650 per year on something that may make you feel slightly more awake but in the long run isn't making too much of a difference. A CGM can cost as little as $8 per day and that sensor will make a big difference to both you and your child if your a parent of a T1D as I am. So what this really means is you are a couple that drinks coffee then you could make a difference by just giving up one coffee a day each. Medtronic have also come to the party as they understand that cost is a big part of making the decision around getting a CGM. They have created a subscription service which breaks up what originally was a large purchase and when you sign up for a 12 month subscription which would deliver a box of 5 sensors to your door every month but you would also get the transmitter for free. Now this is a saving of around $700. This is but one option that Medtronic offer as they really do understand that sometimes it isn't in the budget.

Yes this all adds to the budget and being a father to 3 girls and 1 of which has T1D as well as myself it is difficult however the peace of mind that we receive by stopping hypo's and just knowing what is happening at any given day or night is peace of mind I never want to give up.

Don't be afraid to look at the options because there are just that options to try and suit the majority of budgets.

The patient is a member of the Medtronic Patient Ambassador Program. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individual poster or author and not representative of Medtronic or the third parties referenced

By Gareth Collins

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