Anyone in a country with universal healthcare?

Ah, okay. I asked because I’ve heard of some people being able to “transfer” their old pump to someone else (with a valid prescription.) They sent it back to the company, paid a fee (about $500 US), and the company sent it to the other person. I know someone sent one to an Australian, so I think to send it across countries, it just has to be approved for use in that country. I admit I don’t know what conditions are required, though.

Sorry to add something here when it’s not about Canada, but I wanted to point out that in Germany you don’t HAVE to have the gov’t plan either, but you do have to be insured… if not privately, then by a gov’t plan. You’re required to have insurance. So, if you make a lot of money and your employer offers private health plans, you CAN do that instead.

See, I wonder about obtaining pumps in Germany, too. I got mine in the US back before I moved. I have a little fear that when my warranty is up in a year and a half and the pump croaks the Germans will say, “we’re not paying for a pump!” I know there are German pumpers, but I haven’t really talked to them in forums here because my language skills aren’t up to snuff yet. Since they didn’t hesitate paying for infusion sets and reservoirs, my assumption is I wouldn’t have to fight too much to get a new pump, but who knows.

Not sure about other places, but in Germany the dental coverage is about the same as what I had with my employer in the US. That means, sure you can get your teeth cleaned, but God help you if you need a crown or a bridge or anything extensive. They’ll yank your tooth or give you an amalgam filling for nothing, but if you need anything else, be prepared to pay out the you know what for it. Don’t know how they’d handle the abscess problem you mentioned. My guess is that you could call them and get it covered since it’s a actual health issue. Hope we never have to find out…

I live in Australia.
We have something called the NDSS. Every diabetic Australian is entitled to register (for free) Diabetes supplies such as test strips are heavily subsidised more so for certain pensions cards etc, as are insulin pump supplies (infusion sets, reservoirs etc). Syringes are now free for all diabetics.
We have the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which also subsidises many prescription medications for different conditions. It took awhile for Lantus and Levermir to get approved for the PBS however.
Everyone has Medicare, which provides free or very low cost treatment at the doctors and public hospitals.
The downside of this is that the waiting lists for elective surgeries can be very long (at a public hospital)
The emergency rooms are at bursting point, but nobody is turned away.

We also have the option of going private. There are different levels of private health insurance that you can pay for, to recieve care in a private hospital without the waiting lists.
Private health insurance covers insulin pumps 100%

Makes sense. Though it’s kind of weird, because a root canal and crown together are usually less expensive in the long run than an extraction…

My husband had a problem with an abscess and a broken filling here a couple of years ago. It was a molar in the back. They’d have needed to do something extensive that at the time I couldn’t figure out (no viable English translation) and then replace the tooth because it was cracked or something. It would have cost something like 500 bucks and he just did not have the money at the time and so they pulled it out and gave him antibiotics for free. That was how my coverage in America was, too. Although I think they at least did root canals for cheap. But any sort of crown or surgery would be out of pocket.

Hi! I didn’t have Health Insurance for two years and 1/2… But Now I have Medicare Part A, B and D plus I have Kansas Medicaid that I pay 55 dollars every month… through Working Healthly that allows me to work 20 hours a week at my job… My insulin and other meds cost me 8.20 dollars a month… My insulin pump supplies and test trips don’t cost me nothing… But I did pay for my insulin pump and I currently paying payments on it… I haven’t seen “Sicko” yet… Thanks for yall input… Have a GREAT Day! Smile

Hi !
I haven’t seen Sicko, but I will in few senetences tell how it is in my country. I live in Slovenia, Europe (near Austria and Italy)… So we have insulin, needles and all basic diabetes supplies free. Most of people here have additional insurance, which is about 12 EUR plus basic one (basic one is calculated through your income, you give certain procents of income accroding the rank you fall in). Meters. Each diabetic (type 1) has a right to get glucose meter (one on 2 years passed I think). All meter supplies free if you got meter from doctor prescription. CGM are out and probably won’t be covered for some time… In last 6 years pumps are hot. First three years only teenagers under 15 could get it, but now this has changed (you don’t just get it, you need to apply to it and you need to fullfill certain requirements: regular BG checking (at least 3 times a day), carb counting (I am still working on that one), not do good HbAlC1 and you have better chances if you have hipoglycemic un-awareness. If you don’t get it prescribed, they you don’t get accessories… If you buy a pump, then you must also pay for suppliess. We don’t have that big a choice here in pump manufacturers: Minimed, Accu-Check and Dana. If you want Minimed Realtime, and get pump prescribed, then you need to pay for component which measuers BG (sending device = its quite a expense about 2000 EUR) and you need to buy sensors every month.

It’s different for type 2. You get free medications, but usually you don’t get meter right away (after some time, if doctor thinks you need one).

Take care.
Andy

What about leading edge treatments? Are they recognized in countries with universal healthcare, as much as they are here in the states?

My life would be extremely different if I had not received treatments that pushed the boundaries of cutting edge technology (I have Cystic Fibrosis as well as diabetes). This is one of my largest concerns about universal heathcare, as if it weren’t for these treatments I would most likely not be here discussing this topic. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

I just got into the Hungarian national health care system!!! A happy day for a diabetic. While I understand the concern about the “inefficiencies of a universal system”, I think that the inefficiencies in the US system are far more costly to society. Believe it or not, cutting edge research happens in Hungary… Of course there are limits, based on the size of the country and the amount of funding available. But look at Sweden— some of the MOST advanced medical research ( in stem cell research as well) and they have a universal system. So I think it can be done!

The part that amazed me is that I qualified for the Hungarian health care system as a taxpayer here… and there were NO questions asked. I entered the system because I have a right too regardless of my current health or medical history. Okay the system isn’t entirely universal— cause if you aren’t a tax payer, then you have to pay 30 dollars a month to be covered.

Insulin pumps are available (Medtronic, Animas, Directron??) and the state pays 90% of the cost of the pump and the supplies, but I hear a lot of diabetics saying: 500 dollars for a pump, that’s crazy! It is when you are used to getting medical supplies for free :slight_smile: I am a US citizen married to a Hungarian… given the choice, I choose to live in the Hungarian system! I will cancel my USA insurance soon…

In regards to cutting edge technology and research, coming from the country that discovered insulin (yes… that’s CANADA!):
http://www.dlife.com/diabetes-news/2006/03/diabetes_research_yieldi… (dlife article on research coming from the University of Calgary - for those of you who are not familiar with Canada, that’s located in the province of Alberta in CANADA - this also discusses how scientists at the University of Alberta - yes, still CANADA, - were the first to successfully transplant islet cells into people with diabetes in 2000).
http://www.pprf.ca/ (here’s another site on the research being done at the University of Calgary - take a look at "pancreatic endocrine tissue and progenitor cells)
I think that for a country with universal health care, we fare pretty well in terms of research. And thank Banting and Best (Canadians) for your insulin!

Hi Kirsten

Just been looking on the site for a DAFNE group and can’t find one, so far yours is the only reference I’ve found. I did the course last week and really loved it, just wondered if you’ve been on it yet? Be nice to speak to someone who had! I am thinking about setting up a group on here for DAFNE, do you think it would be a good idea?

I realize that this is an old thread but I’ll add to the recent comments. I live in the province of Ontario. On September 1, 2008, the government will provide no charge insulin pumps to any T1 in the province providing they meet a minimal set of criteria. They even pay you $200 each month to help cover pump supplies. This is whether you have private medical insurance or not, whether it be a group plan at your place of employment or personal insurance that you pay for.

I live in Hungary and I am in the national system there.

I just received a new pump. I asked how to get a new pump and I had the new pump (MM722) attached in a week. Very efficient.

The government pays 85% of the pump and all supplies. I pay 15% out of pocket.

The only disadvantage is that not all the most modern pumps are available. I had three to choose from and they were not all the most recently available pump (though with Medtronic, it was).

Here is an extract about the history of insulin:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin#Discovery_and_characterization

That’s craziness! So in other words it’s basically run like 10 incredibly large companies. I have to weigh in, I feel like we need put a program or plan in place to regulate healthcare for those less fortunate but I don’t think a broad blanket program for he US is the answer. I think some things like the choke hold large drug companies have on the general population needs to be looked at. I never ever complain about my coverage because I know there are people out there without any. Let’s face it though, we are in the US and like a lot of things it comes down to money. Which company can pad their pockets the most. I feel like sometimes the general good of the population is overlooked for the chance to make a fast buck.

My two cents.

I’m on a DAFNE course this coming week, and I think that somewhere to discuss experiences with it would be extremely helpful!

Here in Australia test strips are cheaper then you could imagine. Pen neddles are free. Insulin is $3.50 for like 6 boxes of 5. And insulin pumps are a brezze to get. All you need is the most basic private health insurance and you can get all your pump supplies and pump for free or like $200 O.O.P/ We have a scheme call a Health Care Card which gets us the cheap insulin (and any other medication) and just join NDSS and get all test strips cheap and all needles for FREE.

Since this was started up again…I can’t speak to any nationlized health care, I just feel fortunate to have good insurance, but I did see Sicko and it made me feel that the US was so uncivilized. However, living in South Florida, I have met many Cuban Americans. The story they tell about healthcare in Cuba is not at all what was portrayed in the movie. The brother of a dear friend is a surgeon in Havana and he wants for items as ordinary as lightbulbs for the operating room. Other friends send the most basic health care products to relatives who are unable to purchase them…not available or prohibitively expensive. An American friend damaged her retina while visiting there and was given excellent care but she said that there were no Cubans in the hospital…just visitors being treated like VIPs.