August 23, 2002
Question from Mattoon, Illinois, USA:
My grandson, who has had diabetes since age one, has trouble controlling his blood sugar. When he does realize he is going low, usually it is too late, and he has had several of these “incidents” in the last year. As a result, he is thinking of going on the insulin pump, but he does not have insurance. Do you know of anyone who offers financial assistance for a pump?
Pumps certainly can help with the erratic ups and downs of blood glucose. At least one insulin pump company is trying to overcome the financial barriers to pump use. See Pumps for Kids.
Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:
“Just going on a pump” may be helpful but may not be the total answer. I presume that your grandson, now an adult I gather, is still followed by an endocrinologist. A healthcare professional experienced in insulin pump therapy must be involved in this consideration for a change in treatment plans –not to mention the need for on-going follow up.
I am not immediately familiar with any type of insurance-related financial assistance programs for pumps but the various pump manufacturers may be a good resource, and you can contact them on-line through their websites.
Additional comments from David S. Holtzman, Esq.:
Unfortunately, without health insurance your adult grandson will have few options in finding a third party to pay for his insulin pump. One of these options would be to explore his eligibility for Medicaid coverage from the Illinois medical assistance program. However, attempts to receive insulin pumps are subject to strenuous review, and the program will not pay for separate pump education. The telephone number for the Medicaid program is located in your telephone book.