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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a 68 year old diabetic from NYC, recently retired on Medicare + a Medicare supplemental plan, diagnosed with Type 1 over 30 years ago. Have been (happily) using a pump for ca. 10 years.

I was a member of the forum some time ago and recently "revived" my membership.

My A1C's have been mid-7s recently, though I regularly achieved high 6s when I was being more deliberate about control. Hoping/aiming for high 6s again.

Medicare is apparently reluctant to support pump therapy. In the past, via an employer's insurance plan, my pump would be replaced at the end of the 4 year warranty. Medicare will not consider supporting replacement until a 5 year cycle has been achieved. They do not support continuous glucose monitors either.

Hoping to learn more about other people's experiences with and advice about Medicare here on the forum.
 

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Welcome back, Bob

I'm your age... but not your "type" :D (a bad pun!)

That's too bad about Medicare's pump replacement policy. Are you able to go 5 years without problems?

You'll be in good company here on this forum where, regardless of type, we are determined to gain good control over our diabetes. How are you doing these days? What level of carb consumption are you eating and how are your postprandial BG numbers? (As you know, we are a nose bunch here - but in a good way.)
 

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I can only say hi and welcome (back) to the forum. I'm too young for Medicare, but sneaking up on it.
 

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Welcome back, Bob

I'm your age... but not your "type" :D (a bad pun!)

That's too bad about Medicare's pump replacement policy. Are you able to go 5 years without problems?

You'll be in good company here on this forum where, regardless of type, we are determined to gain good control over our diabetes. How are you doing these days? What level of carb consumption are you eating and how are your postprandial BG numbers? (As you know, we are a nose bunch here - but in a good way.)
According to Medtronic, once you get on medicare they will support your device for 5 years. For instance, my pump is warranted 4 years since I'm on private insurance, but once I migrate to medicare , then medicare should replace your pump (doesn't matter about 4 years), once you get your new pump then medtronic warranty covers 5 years.
 

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If your current pump was not obtained through Medicare in the first place, you should be able to get a replacement any time from Medicare. Once Medicare has paid for one, however, then it's usually a 5 year replacement schedule unless it becomes un-repairable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If your current pump was not obtained through Medicare in the first place, you should be able to get a replacement any time from Medicare. Once Medicare has paid for one, however, then it's usually a 5 year replacement schedule unless it becomes un-repairable.
Thanks for the note. Sounds like this is something worth investigating. Thanks for the welcome and for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
According to Medtronic, once you get on medicare they will support your device for 5 years. For instance, my pump is warranted 4 years since I'm on private insurance, but once I migrate to medicare , then medicare should replace your pump (doesn't matter about 4 years), once you get your new pump then medtronic warranty covers 5 years.
Thank you. This information will save me a whole year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome back, Bob I'm your age... but not your "type" :D (a bad pun!) That's too bad about Medicare's pump replacement policy. Are you able to go 5 years without problems? You'll be in good company here on this forum where, regardless of type, we are determined to gain good control over our diabetes. How are you doing these days? What level of carb consumption are you eating and how are your postprandial BG numbers? (As you know, we are a nose bunch here - but in a good way.)
Thanks for the welcome.
 

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I am on Medicare and started using a Medtronic pump in 2007. I was not allowed a new pump until 2012. My next pump will be due in 2017. Every 5 years works well for me, my first pump worked well for 5 years. No problems.

Medicare does not cover a CGM, but there is a bill that has been submitted to Congress that would require Medicare to cover them. I hope the bill will pass. If you do get to use a CGM, I do not advise your using the one from Medtronic. If you read online reports in CGM support groups, you will find that most users say that the accuracy of Medtronic's CGM is very poor, and there are too many false alarms that might keep you awake at night. The Dexcom CGM is much more reliable. My endocrinologist wrote a letter of necessity to Medicare to help me get a CGM, but the request was denied. I test my BG 12-15 times per day to compensate. A reliable CGM would greatly reduce the number of times that you would need to test your BG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am on Medicare and started using a Medtronic pump in 2007. I was not allowed a new pump until 2012. My next pump will be due in 2017. Every 5 years works well for me, my first pump worked well for 5 years. No problems.

Medicare does not cover a CGM, but there is a bill that has been submitted to Congress that would require Medicare to cover them. I hope the bill will pass. If you do get to use a CGM, I do not advise your using the one from Medtronic. If you read online reports in CGM support groups, you will find that most users say that the accuracy of Medtronic's CGM is very poor, and there are too many false alarms that might keep you awake at night. The Dexcom CGM is much more reliable. My endocrinologist wrote a letter of necessity to Medicare to help me get a CGM, but the request was denied. I test my BG 12-15 times per day to compensate. A reliable CGM would greatly reduce the number of times that you would need to test your BG.
Richard,

Lots of information in your post. Thanks.

I too can live with the 5-year cycle for pump replacement. I too am using a Medtronic, this is my third: they seem well made; Medtronic has been quick to replace malfunctioning units; mine have been pretty reliable considering the 24/7 they are expected to serve; without having experience with any others, I like the user interface.

I've heard about the legislative effort to get Medicare to support CGM. I wasn't aware the Medtronic's CGM poor track record vis-a-vis CGM though. Thanks for the heads up.

I test 8-10 times a day and it would be far more convenient (and less expensive? at $1.00 / strip, finger-sticking is egregiously expensive) to get a running total. Maybe Medicare will eventually see the cost benefits if not the improvement in quality of care of the improved control.
 

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Richard,

Lots of information in your post. Thanks.

I too can live with the 5-year cycle for pump replacement. I too am using a Medtronic, this is my third: they seem well made; Medtronic has been quick to replace malfunctioning units; mine have been pretty reliable considering the 24/7 they are expected to serve; without having experience with any others, I like the user interface.

I've heard about the legislative effort to get Medicare to support CGM. I wasn't aware the Medtronic's CGM poor track record vis-a-vis CGM though. Thanks for the heads up.

I test 8-10 times a day and it would be far more convenient (and less expensive? at $1.00 / strip, finger-sticking is egregiously expensive) to get a running total. Maybe Medicare will eventually see the cost benefits if not the improvement in quality of care of the improved control.
I elieve Medtronic has improved the overall accuracy in thier CGM. I'm hoping to learn as I get my pump training on Monday, and need to even lower my A1c down lower so eventually I hope to use the CGM feature , although that wasn't my intention when I ordered it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I elieve Medtronic has improved the overall accuracy in thier CGM. I'm hoping to learn as I get my pump training on Monday, and need to even lower my A1c down lower so eventually I hope to use the CGM feature , although that wasn't my intention when I ordered it.
If you're going from syringes to the pump, you'll find the pump infinitely more flexible and convenient. Good luck.
 
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