It has been said, oddly enough, that it is a good time to be a diabetic. What is meant by this, is that the technology is becoming more advanced and research that is being conducted that is honing in on a long term viable solution. A solution that is an alternative to multiple daily insulin injections. One of these advancements are insulin pumps.
An insulin pump is a small, battery powered device that holds a reservoir of insulin. This device delivers amounts of short or rapid acting insulin via a canula which sits subcutaneously under the skin. At present, the pump works with a controller that is programmed by the user depending on food consumed and other factors.
Diabetes Victoria created a publication called ‘Understanding Insulin Pumps’. This provides a great deal of information in relation to pumps for T1D’s and what can be expected. It is very important to speak to your endocrinologist or educator to discuss whether moving to a pump or changing pumps is the right decision for you.
Pumps, Costs and Rebates
Depending on the pump, these costs vary between $4,000 and $9,000 is what can be expected to be paid. If you have access to Private Health Insurance, you may be eligible for a rebate. Presently, there are a number of pumps available in Australia. They are Medtronic 640G, Accu-Check Spirit Combo, Paradigm Real Time, Paradigm Veo, YpsoPump and Cellnovo.
There are new pumps which have just been launched in Australia – they are the Medtronic Mini Med 670G, Cellnovo and t:slim X2. The t:slim is due to be released from September 2018 though release of the Medtronic 670G is not expected until early 2019.
For children under the age of 18, there is a program called the ‘Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump Program‘.
Subject to available funding, the Program is available to anyone who is Medicare eligible, carers for a child living with type 1 diabetes, who does not have access to Private Health Insurance and is under 18 at the time of application.
The subsidies are means tested (family income range of $75,665 – $101,957 pa) and range from 10 per cent of the cost of the insulin pump (or $500, whichever is greater) to 80 per cent of the cost of the Insulin Pump (capped at $6,400).
For more information on eligibility for the insulin pump subsidy, or to apply for the subsidy, go to JDRF website or call (02) 9966 0400.
If you are not eligible for the Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump Program, Private Health Insurance is also available to cover the cost of your pump. Assuming the correct waiting period has been completed, you should be eligible for full reimbursement.
Information on NDSS Pump Consumables are available on the NDSS Website
Again, it is very important to speak directly to your endocrinologist or educator to discuss these options.