B.C. PharmaCare extends insulin pump coverage to age 25
Until now, B.C.'s PharmaCare program only covered insulin pumps for people with Type 1 diabetes up to age 18.
The provincial government has announced that coverage is being extended to age 25 for those meeting certain criteria.
According to a news release from the Ministry of Health, PharmaCare will cover the cost of an insulin pump up to $6,600 for young people who may not have access to third-party insurance coverage or cannot afford to buy a pump.
"The need to constantly balance insulin doses with food and activities can be a challenge for anyone with diabetes, especially young British Columbians," Health Minister Terry Lake said in the release. "For some, an insulin pump provides stability and better monitoring. Expanding coverage to include young adults will help offset financial costs for many families."
PharmaCare has covered insulin pumps for people 18 years old and younger since 2008. The government says almost 1,300 kids have received pumps at a cost of $6.4 million.
B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix said he first proposed this coverage extension back in 2011, and it was part of his party's most recent election platform.
“Today’s announcement will have demonstrable effect on the lives, and health of young adults who are dealing with this chronic disease. Many of them are, at this stage in their life, still pursuing post-secondary education and becoming established in their careers," Dix said in a news release.
“As a result, young people with Type 1 diabetes who rely on an insulin pump to manage their diabetes are not in financial position to afford the significant cost of this medical device and related supplies.”
The NDP wants Lake to ask the legislature's standing committee on health to come up with a comprehensive diabetes plan for B.C.