Reaching out to OmniPod users

(This is my first post, so I hope I'm doing it right.)

This forum has a lot of complaints and issues about the dependability of the OmniPod. I use a Minimed Paradigm pump that is about to need replacing, but my insurance won't cover it and I shudder at spending $6000 for a new one. I'd love to try the OmniPod but am concerned about the issues raised from users, such as occlusions and wasted insulin. I've never had a problem with my Paradigm pump. Here are my questions: Do the advantages of OmniPod outweigh the disadvantages? Is the company responsive to user complaints? How does the cost compare to other pump supplies? Would I be better off buying another Minimed pump since I've had good results with it? Is there a newer brand pump I should consider?

FYI... I've been type 1 for 57 years and have witnessed many changes in diabetes management! Pumping saved my life.

Additional resources added by the TuDiabetes administration

Hi, I haven’t seen one of the complainants say a word about switching to any other pump. Some of them complain all the time. I had 2 pod failures last week & have had 4 fail in 6 or so months. I received 2 replacements when I gave them the codes. I wouldn’t use any other pump.

I’m British, so the NHS funds mine.

Knock on wood I have had no issues at all. I just started in April and I love it. I’ve been swimming, gone off diving boards and rope swings and no problems. People come here to complain so they can get advice on how to fix issues. I’m sure you see the same thing on other message boards for other pumps. All in all a great system.

Belinda, I had to laugh because you said EXACTLY what I was thinking. There’s complaining, but keep posting on the Omnipod section, Hmmm. Ya, there’s quirks and issues from time to time, but unless theres another tubeless technology that comes along, I’d never consider switching to another other pump. I love this thing. It’s a tool that makes things a heck of a lot easer for me. Good luck in your decision. If you poke around here a bit you’ll find a lot of people really like Omnipod - we’re just happy for the most part and don’t post a lot.

I have had just a few pump failures over several years but it occurs as I'm filling the pump and I always have a back up just in case. Omnipod is great at replacing pumps when you have a problem and it also seems to go in batches, like you have a bad box or something. It's been months since I've had any issues at all. I really don't understand how some seem to have endless problems? You also have to keep in mind that those that post are usually always the ones with complaints, problems, questions. (kind of like a complaint/suggestion box) Rare that someone will post just to say how happy they are. As far as cost, check and see if your insurance will cover the pod, I've found that the pod won't be covered but many if not all the other brands are. There is no initial $6,000 up front because each pod is all inclusive but I think over several years it will be very close if not a bit more that a standard tubed pump. I've never used any other kind and have no intention of ever switching until I'm forced. If insurance will pay, go for it!

If minimed works for you I wouldn't change it. The primary advantage of Omnipod is that it is tubeless and waterproof; for those of us who are fairly active there really is no choice other than MDI.

The costs are likely to be comparable. If your current insurance doesn't pay for the pump then it probably won't pay for the pods; they're not coded as supplies (except, maybe, with those insurance companies who pay less for supplies ;-) So you are looking at $25 every 3 days; $3000/year.

However this is all moot in the US because of the insurance changes happening at the end of this year. It's very risky to make a major change now based on cost; until you know what insurance policy you will be using in 2014 you don't know how the costs will change. You might make an expensive investment and find it would have been covered in 2014, or you might swap to Omnipod and find that you can't afford the pods in 2014 and have to swap back!

So far as I can see anyone in the US who is considering a change of this type should delay it until he or she has firm unambiguous quotes for the cost after 2014 starts. I think that applies even if it means going back to MDI for a few months.

John Bowler

Thanks barbraann. My insurance won't pay for the pods but will pay a small amount on a new pump. I will turn 65 in a year and a half and will get Medicare if it's still around. I wonder if Medicare will cover any of the costs for pump therapy? Regarding the OmniPod problems, it seems most complaints are about the "older" ones. Are you getting the newer ones now? How are they different?

That makes sense, Rob & Belinda. Are you using the latest version of the pods? Several users say they haven't been able to get the newer ones. I'm wondering if the company fixed some of the failure issues with the new design.

Dear Grandma: you may be in the eligible for Medicare range, if so, rules will stay basically the same under the ACA. We opted for Aadvantage coverage which appears to act as supplemental and often covers the 20% copay on the pods, making the upfront investment 20% of the PDM cost. I only found out a few months ago that all I needed to do was to find the provider for pods in my network, once done, no more copay for pods. I am still limited to 1 box for 30days, but now I get 3 months at a time and got to say goodbye to EdgePark. I am a T2 for 14 years and am on Humulin-R 500 as I am extremely insulin resistant. Omnipod is my first pump and my best choice ever. I had some non-functioning pods and a quick call to Customer Support (24/7) and I had advice and replacement pods o/n.
As stated before, the tendency to post on this Community is to seek help and advice, usually with issues. People do not post to say Yeah, Yeah typically, at least. I say: Yeah, Yeah.

So you are able to have medicare cover the pod!? That's great news. I didn't think they would be covered. Although I'm a few years away and things could change. Right now if it were me, I would base any decisions on what my insurance will pay. Since they won't pay for you to replace your minimed then find out what they will cover and go from there. Since mine has been covered from the start I'm unfamiliar with what the initial costs would be (ie. cost of the pdm)

As far as wasted insulin, after awhile I know how much I am using and can get pretty close to it when inserting the insuln into the pod. You can also draw out any unused insulin out of the pod and re insert into another pod.

Pardon my ignorance, but what is MDI?

I don't see any reason why you shouldn't change from MiniMed. First of all, OmniPod is so much better, as far as I can tell. I tried a MiniMed on a few years ago and the amount of tubing and bulk was awful. The OmniPod is a breeze to wear and deal with in comparison. I injected for over 30 years because the tubing is awful on those other pumps, and you can't swim or shower with one on.

Also, why would anyone think a small plastic pod with inexpensive parts will be MORE expensive in the future? All the other plastic micro-chip items in our lives have gotten cheaper...the market will expand exponentially once they are super-cheap, so business-wise it makes sense for the company to bring the cost down.

Multiple Daily Injections. Medicare does cover some of the traditional pumps (probably minimed) but at my last check didn't cover omnipods.

Yes, I do have the new OmniPods.

hi grandmakissy
i also have minimed 522 & love it
talk to your endo & see what he can do about letter to insurance
i've had t1 for 76+ years
am 79+ years old
good luck

76 years? Wow, that's incredible. You're my new hero! Are you a part of the Joslin Diabetes Center's Medalist study?

no, but i have the 75 year medal

& also the lilly medal

Good for you! Have you been keeping up with Joslin's findings? They have discovered that some Medalists (50+ years of diabetes) still make a small amount of insulin in their pancreas. They are also working to identify a gene that some people have that protects us from many diabetic complications. Fascinating study.

I love my Omnipod. I refused to go on a tubed pump and decided to wait for the new pods. I really like the no tubing part and the fact that you can wear them just about anywhere. I have been using it since the middle of march and have had two occlusions and one or two failures. Annoying but not a huge deal. I always carry a spare pod, insulin pens and batteries, just in case.