B.C. PharmaCare extends insulin pump coverage to age 25

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      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.


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      crusty clowne

      Feb 27, 2014 at 7:26pm

      ANYONE who is deemed by a doctor to benefit from the use of an insulin pump should have it paid for by Pharmacare, not just people up to age 25. The amount of money and human suffering down the road that would be eliminated by using a pump would be priceless. Why should a 25 year old be covered and not a 35 or 45 year old?

      Amy Hearn

      Feb 28, 2014 at 1:13pm

      I am 45, have Type 1 diabetes, am on disability benefits. I am currently paying for my own pump out of my limited grocery money- all because the government thinks I should honestly just die. I mean, how DARE I actually want some vestige of control over my diabetes to try and prevent (TOO LATE) complications that cost me pain and suffering- and the taxpayers heaven only knows HOW much money for emergency hospital visits, specialist help that could have been AVOIDED had they bothered to provide me, and others like me with an insulin pump, a continuous glucose monitor and the like?

      In Alberta and Ontario pumps and continuous glucose monitors are fully covered. We need to do the same for every single person with type one diabetes. C'mon! There are only a few thousand of us for pete's sakes, and it will cost a LOT less if you are proactive!

      Marjory Joan O'Morrow

      Mar 11, 2014 at 11:04am

      How do I apply for Pharmacare


      Mar 12, 2014 at 10:18am

      So I have been screwed twice now with getting an insulin pump .. Hopefully I get covered this time :) :) started my day with hope ..

      Anyone in bc know if fair pharmacare covers cgm supply's ?

      Thanks for your time and I fully agree with the two people who commented before me . I do not see why I deserve it and someone a year older then me (or 90 years older for that
      Matter does not deserve the same...


      Mar 15, 2014 at 8:58pm

      Thank you Lata for sharing the petition here!! Yes, please do sign it!!

      I am in the same position as Amy. But I'm 35 and on PWD. Where do they propose I get the money to pay for my pump when my current pumps warranty is up in 2 yrs? I have been doing this for over 3 yrs now, trying to get them to understand. This is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!! How Dare they, is right.

      No, Pharmacare does not cover CGMS. I have tried to get help from the Ministry of Social Development for that, but they have basically told me, in writing, that my life is not worth $250/mth. Literally. Nice, huh?

      Please sign my petition that Lata has posted here and please, please, PLEASE share with everyone you know and ask them to sign too. My hope is that they will eventually "get it". As Amy said, there aren't that many of us for heavens sake. If there have only been 1300 kids that have received pumps, I question how many people are really in that 19-25 bracket that they are all excited about expanding to? I think perhaps a couple hundred, maybe? Honestly!


      Jan 18, 2015 at 1:24am

      Absolutely horrified that in Bc, age is even a factor in getting an insulin pump. Presently trying to help a friend who is receiving employment and income assistance to get a new pump covered for her. She had a pump which was funded by her and her family, but has broken down. She cant afford another one. If she cant get another one, it means she will likely not be able to go to start her course in Feb. This means her being a frequent flyer to the hospitals again..costing health care enormous amounts of money. Her diabetes is very severe and has been difficult to manage prior to her having a insulin pump. This pump has proven to be life changing for this woman and has enabled her to have some life. If she cant get a pump, this not only will costs health care more money, but may lead to early death as a result, which is completely unnecessary. Age should not be a factor in determining who can get help and who cant.

      10 5Rating: +5