Dear Mr. Minister of Health, why won't you cover my insulin pump?

Over the past few weeks I have received a number of emails from frustrated parents. Their children are moving onto post-secondary school and have reached the magic age of 18. Their pump coverage, if there ever was any, is ending and the parents are at their wits end. They fear the high costs associated with pumping will mean that their children will have to use a less effective method of managing their diabetes.

Why does coverage end at 18? Yes, diagnosis usually happens before 18 but why end coverage at that point? The disease didn’t stop. They still need a pump, insulin and supplies. Why is this happening? Why aren’t more provinces covering pumps? What is going on?

Those are just some of the questions and frustrations that I hear. I truly feel for all of these parents. When my son received his first pump, it was given out of love. We were at a family reunion and my son was on multiple daily injections. He ate at specific times–which did not mesh with the times that the rest of the family was eating. He often sat alone. It was heartbreaking. They had heard me talk about an insulin pump and decided to pool their money so that he could have one. I cried a lot that day. The memory still makes my eyes fill with tears…

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I don’t eat at specific times on MDI. No need to do that.

Really hard to have something taken away. What a wonderful family you have.

He was on MDI before Lantus or Levemir. At that time I was quite flexible with his NPH but holding a meal until 7pm when everyone else ate, just didn’t work :frowning: Their generousity was overwhelming!

Ugh, NPH!

Word 1: Money. Word 2: Children. Who can refuse an adorable toddler or young child with a medical need? No one. Who can refuse an adult? Especially one without children of their own? All pols. Both in the US and Canada. In the US, we have Medicaid, but only for families or single parents WITH children. If you have no children, you’re SOL. Medical advocacy has a LONG way to go.