Get United Health Care to Cover all Insulin Pumps
- United Healthcare
UnitedHealthcare has signed an exclusivity agreement with Medtronic insulin pumps. UHC has done a good job in their announcement to make those who do not suffer with type-1 indifferent to this decision. They advocate this change with words like "increasing quality and lowering the overall
cost of diabetes care in the United States" to justify their decision.
When I shopped around for my pump my endocrinologist made sure that I made the decision on my own. He had me look at Tandem, Medtronic and a few other pumps to make sure I was making an educated choice. I decided to go with Tandem because I liked how advanced the pump is. It syncs with my continuous glucose monitor which checks my sugar every five minutes and tells me if I'm at risk for being too low (which can lead to a diabetic coma) or too high (which can lead to long term health effects). The important part was that I had to inform myself and make a decision on my long term treatment on my own.
Americans are severely desensitized to diabetes as an illness. It's portrayed as a joke, and thought to be a disease that you eat yourself into. Imagine if every single meal you had to decide not only what to eat but how many carbs it has, which carbs effect you which way, how much insulin to give yourself now, how much later, can you have a snack, did you poke your finger? Then imagine every time you felt a little off you had to wonder if your sugar is too high, too low, why can't I focus, is this diabetes related, what else is wrong? Every minute of every day is a constant calculation and concern over what you're doing and the effect on the body.
What people don't understand is that this decision to restrict lives impacts how thousands of people with type-1 live their already complicated lives. We depend on our insulin pumps to help keep us alive. So why get so upset? This decision is no different than telling any patient suffering from a disease that they have to chose the route of treatment that was paid for by a pharmaceutical company. This is the same as telling anyone with a life changing and potentially deadly disease that they can only treat it with the medicine provided by the pharmaceutical company that has paid the most. This means that the company that pays the most can put other companies out of business. Long term effects means stalled research, regression in technology and control of resources for patients everywhere. This is a policy that cannot be allowed in the United States.
So what can you do to help? Even if you aren't a member of UnitedHeathCare you can still write on your page and let them know this isn't okay. Contact your policy makers and let them know this isn't okay. Don't be afraid to say something! #mypumpmychoice
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