for durbin in indiana, it was the covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 that forced him to stop using a cgm.
diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008, durbin later learned that he lives with a version of t1d known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (lada). he used the dexcom g6 for a few years, but after losing revenue due to the covid-19 pandemic, it became unaffordable for him.
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His $1,000 insurance deductible meant he had to pay a higher amount earlier in the year, so in February 2019 his first cgm order cost $1,237 for a dexcom g6 sensor box and transmitter.
Your insurance only allowed one sensor box at a time. this was problematic because often a box didn’t last a full month as it was supposed to. each sensor has a 10-day usage tag, but they often fail early. this means briefly dispensing with the cgm or ordering additional sensors just in case.
Overall, for durbin, the math adds up to almost $3000 for a year of cgm use, even with insurance coverage. And that added to the costs of insulin, other medications, doctor appointments and more.
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“That’s just an expense,” he says of the cost of cgm. “And when you also have copays for a dozen different drugs, that’s too much.”
travis trombley in michigan was one of many lifelong t1ds who heard about cgm technology for many years, but personally couldn’t afford it. Diagnosed at 15 months of age in the early 1980s, Trombley says his entire life is a story of “lack of health insurance,” even when he worked at a small community health clinic that provided insurance but didn’t cover the insulin and quit. paying the bill.
About a decade ago, uninsured but earning too much for state Medicaid as a single single man, Trombley says he experienced a downward spiral in his health from diabetes and began experiencing eye complications.
turned to the older human insulin (humulin r and n) which was much less expensive but unreliable. eventually, she started using medicare, but still couldn’t get a cgm because the federal program didn’t cover that technology for diabetes at the time. Trombley considered buying a CGM internationally and shipping supplies to the United States. but medicare finally covered cgms.
Now, he can finally afford the free Abbott, which he attributes to lower interest rates, a refinance, federal stimulus money, and increased job opportunities due to working from home.
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“I recently got abbott free after wanting, wanting and trying to raise my income enough to comfortably afford one and cover my insulin copays at the same time,” he tells diabetesmine.
“I love it. I wish I had gotten into the world of using cgm much sooner. Just in the first 3 weeks, I’m seeing much better glucose control.”
in pennsylvania, t1d sarah kangas tells diabetesmine that she can pay for cgm with her employer’s insurance and would give up almost anything else to keep her cgm if need be.
“I gave up cable to make sure I have the funds available. take away my washing machine, computer, microwave or dishwasher, but leave my dexcom g6!” she says.
Using the dexcom g6 for 12 years. technology allows you to work and drive safely. her life would not be the same without her. she pays about $190 for 3 months of supplies and $80 for the cgm transmitter every 90 days. for her, that is “the best money she spent”.
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