I've been doing shots since I was diagnosed. It's been almost 9 years. Should I make the switch to go a pump? I'm a lowly college student who is watching her budget. If it costs much more than Novolog and Lantus I won't be able to afford it. I earnestly want to improve my health.
Pumps are pretty expensive but I love mine. I didn't get it until I was 37 and, well, had attained a certain degree of affluence. I hadn't paid attention to the bills that much lately but looked at one and was like "%$#@!, that's expensive!" I'm less stressed out about diabetes and think that it made diabetes less work for me. I was a total diabetes slacker before I got the pump but had been ignorant of innovative concepts like carb counting before I did that so it's possible that improvements I've made in A1C are as much from carb counting as from pumping but the fine-tuning of doses and precise data recording a pump allows are definitely benefits if you can afford it.
The only way to find out about the total pump cost is from your insurance company. And that can be a royal pain! I think pumping is *usually* more expensive than shots. But in my case that's not true. I am on the omnipod and my insurance covers both the pump system (pdm and pods) and my test strips at 100% under DME. If you decide on a pump, you can have them touch base with your insurance company and figure it all out. They will have to tell you how much you can expect the cost to be before you actually sign up for the pump. Good luck!
I did shots for a few years after diagnosis only because I resisted the whole tubed pump concept. My A1c has been pretty nicely lowered with the pump and my whole eating experience has returned to something somewhat normal, meaning I don't have to excuse myself to find somewhere private to lift up my clothes and inject, then find somewhere to stash the pen needle until I get home, etc.
As Kate says, check with your insurance company. I cannot recall what my company required as info when I decided to start pumping so you may want to be in touch with your doctor's office - they might make the call for you?
As an afterthought, you may want to see if there's a charity that provides supplies to the un/underinsured. I think you can even find information about one such group here on TuD.
Re cost, the key factor is going to be your insurance's DME copay. Most insurance will have you pay 20 to 50% of any Durable Medical Equipment which is how the pump and supplies would be treated. So, as an example, if your DME copay is 20%, then a pump might cost 20% x $5800=$1160 upfront and the supplies might cost 20% x $150=$30 per month. The pump companies have people that can figure that all out for you and give you an estimate.
Cost aside, I much prefer my pump over MDI.
Also, Animas gives a discount to people on limited income. I got the $1,000 (20%) that I would have owed on my DME waived so I didn't pay out of pocket for my Ping. I also get a 30% discount on my 20% share on supplies. They don't always automatically tell you about it so you might want to ask.
I just switched to an Omnipod pump system a couple of weeks ago after doing shots for 38 years. I love the freedom to be able to choose to eat or not to eat. But the best part for me is being able to stop the basal insulin when I exercise. While my control was quite good on MDI my last A1C was 5.7 I had far too many hypos while swimming or playing racquetball.
On the cost side of things pumps and pump supplies are not cheap. And I think you will find they are more expensive than your current therapy. My insurance company picks up 100% of the cost for the pods and pdm, and so far my endocrinologist has given me 2 vials of novolog so I haven't had to buy insulin for it either. But I think there is a coupon available from novo.
On just about every pump website there is a button to click "check my insurance" or "am I covered" so you can certainly find out ahead of time.
Since I am still really new to pumping I have not yet decided if it was a great decision or not, but I do like being able to actually sleep late every once in a while.
Well I called my insurance company.. They cover 0% of the pump and supplies. It looks like I can't afford to keep my body the healthiest I can. The richer you are, the healthier you become.
Ain't that crappy?! Maybe if you contact Animas as Zoe did, you will be allowed a discount?
I found this site that MAY be of help? http://www.needymeds.org/indices/newuser.htm
This text comes from the start page of the OmniPod Users Group here on TuD:
We encourage you to donate supplies to non-profits such as the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association and Insulin for Life, which accept insulin pumps and pump supplies (as well as other diabetes-related prescription items).
You can also approach your physician's office or local medical groups to discuss donating them to those in need of assistance in your area.
Don't just give up, would be my advice!