Animas Pumps -Medicare - Dilemma

I’ve been very happy with my Animas Ping pumps for the past 8 years. I would like to continue using my Ping for as long as I can. Unfortunately, Animas (Medtronic) will cease support for the pump on September 30, 2019 and I don’t know what to do.

Medtronic is willing to supply me with a 630G or 670G pump. I’m not excited by either one. Medicare currently doesn’t pay for Medtronic CGM supplies. I know that I could still use the Dexcom CGM, but I would rather have it integrated with the pump. I also like what I’m reading about about the Tandem Closed Loop technology as opposed to what I have read about Medtronic’s Closed Loop System.

The 4 year warranty I have on my Ping pump expires on March 9, 2020. I am not eligible to get a new pump paid for by Medicare until a year after that.

Am I stuck with the Medtronic line? If I were to get a Medtronic Pump, would I be forced to stay on it for 5 years? Is there any way I can get a Tandy pump and have Medicare pay for it?

Any advice would be appreciated.

There are three issues with the Ping which I have seen reported multiple times from many users and which I consider to be engineering defects. We ran for some time with them but at one point when I called Animas, they told me these were actually important enough to qualify for a pump replacement under warranty. If we were still under warranty. Which we were not. lol.

Very dim screen. Not resolvable by the obvious screen brightness adjustment.
Date/Time resetting on a battery change.
Crack in the pump case by the battery compartment.

If you have any of these issues once it is no longer under warranty would Medicare then replace it without making you wait a year?

With my 1st Ping pump, I had the dim screen and after a couple of weeks of complaining, Animas replaced the pump. They replaced the pump a 2nd time, when it wouldn’t boot up after a battery replacement. The pump would just make noises, have the hourglass appear on the screen and then nothing. The problem with having to reenter the date on battery replacement happens all of the time. I didn’t know that it was an engineering defect with the pump. I never had any problems with cracks in the pump case. That being said, the calendar in the Ping Pump expires on Jan 1, 2022. I know that I’ll need a new pump before that date.

I’ll have to call Medtronic to verify the information concerning these 3 factory defects. I’m wondering if Medicare would then warranty the pump and let me replace it with a Tandem device after Sept 30th.

Totally my opinion.
I personally consider something an engineering defect when the same problem appears to repeatedly crop up.

The part not my opinion is Animas Technical Support told me any one of those issues (we had all three) would qualify for a replacement pump under warranty. Except that our warranty had expired. We ran the Ping two years past warranty. Animas Technical Support would still talk and work issues out with us after the warranty expired but they could not send us a replacement pump at no additional charge. Which was ok. It was still mostly working.

from the last time i checked with tandem, medicare wouldnt cover the upgrade. the upgrade however is a certain amount of money but you get a certain amount back. im not sure if medicare covers it now tho. i have the medtronic 630G with the dexcom as you said medicare doesnt cover the CGM. im quite happy with having it separately. with the medtronic if you are still under warranty which i was (expired this year), you get a free 630G pump. the 670 is the one you’ll need the CGM for sure to use the auto suspend, etc features.

omnipod uses dexcom as well. but it has an animas replacement program…so there are other options, etc. but you gotta find out what they are, etc. medtronic is the only one right now that has the CGM added. too bad medicare doesnt cover the CGM otherwise i would try it out

Medtronics changed their pump replacement service on Animas pumps as of November 12, 2018. I received a snail mail from them about a week before, telling me that if my Animas pump needed replacing, the replacement would be a Medtronics 630g and the warranty on it would run until my Animas Ping warranty expired, which will be 2021. That would lock me into an unwanted pump for 3 more years. Not acceptable! I currently don’t have a CGM. When I spoke with Medicare, they thought that was a fine “courtesy” Medtronics was offering. Medicare is totally oblivious.

Medtronics updated their Animas coverage and are now offering the 730G, along with 630G . I guess that I’ll end up with a Medtronic pump, but only as a backup. I still own an old Animas pump, which is out of warranty, but was still working when it was retired. I think that both of us will be forced to take a Medtronic Pump. I’m not sure how long I would be able to get supplies for the Animas pump.